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Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots MLA has announced a £3.45million Support Scheme for farmers impacted by flooding in the North West in August 2017.

Announcing the scheme which will open in the summer, Minister Poots said: “In March, I visited the Glenelly area and heard directly from some of the farmers who experienced the flooding in 2017. They talked about the financial loss they incurred, the challenges faced restoring land back to productivity and the negative impact this unique severe weather event had on them both emotionally and mentally. Seeing one’s business washed away in the blink of an eye has caused immense distress to this community.

“The sustainability of their farm businesses, already operating in challenging environmental and market conditions, was clearly and severely impacted and therefore I am pleased to announce a ‘one off’ payment of almost £3.5million in assistance to these farmers, as a contribution towards the losses experienced in 2017.”

Farm businesses that made a Force Majeure application following the flooding in 2017 are eligible to apply for the scheme, which is capped at £106,000 per farm business.

The Minister concluded, “I recognise the hardship incurred by the farming and wider rural communities following the flooding in August 2017. While this fund will not undo the emotional and mental challenges they have faced, I do hope it goes some way to easing the financial losses they have suffered.”

More information about the Scheme will be published on the DAERA website before it opens.