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Just over £275million has been paid to farmers in the first week of Direct Payments being issued, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots MLA has announced.

DAERA began to issue full Direct Payments on 16 October 2020, with 23,172 farmers (97%) receiving payment totalling £275.5m to date. The payments included a 4.3% linear increase on Basic Payment Entitlements.

Announcing the figures Minister Poots said: “I am pleased to announce that my Department has issued £275.5million in Direct Payments to more than 23,000 local farmers within the first week of processing. These payments provide critical financial support to the farming community in this very challenging and difficult time.”

Minister Poots has urged those farmers who have yet to provide details for payment to do so as soon as possible. He added: "There are some farmers who have not received payment as they have not provided specific details to the Department.

“I would therefore urge those farmers to provide their details as soon as possible to enable payment to be released. My officials are continuing to verify the remaining claims as a matter of urgency.”

The remaining applications will continue to be verified with payments being released daily thereafter.

Payments will reach farmers’ bank accounts within five working days. Payment letters will issue by post but can also be viewed online immediately at DAERA Online Services. As full payments are being made in October there will no longer be additional part payments in December.