Questions remain over Basic Payment Scheme, but work must carry on, says NFU

The Rural Payments Agency is emailing farmers with BPS application forms.
The Rural Payments Agency is emailing farmers with BPS application forms.

The NFU (National Farmers’ Union) is urging its members to continue registering online for farm payments as requested by the RPA (Rural Payments Agency), or risk their applications being rejected.

NFU president Meurig Raymond said that the online registration was an essential first step of the application process that still must be completed, despite the RPA’s decision to abandon an online-only system and re-introduce some paper measures for farmers submitting Basic Payment Scheme claims. Details of this are expected to be announced in the coming days.

He said: “We are working very closely with the RPA and we, as do our members, have many questions that need answering on how this application process will now work. It is time to get down to business and ensure there is a robust system in place to help the industry get their application forms in and payments can be made in time.

“As a matter of urgency we now need clear communication over what and when members can expect. It would be completely unacceptable for our members to lose out on their vital payments because they have missed critical information which could cause their applications to be delayed or to be ineligible.

“The next couple of weeks are absolutely crucial, especially with the need for our members to continue with the business of farming, rather than form-filling. We will be doing all we can to make sure this process is as painless as possible and we would urge our everyone to regularly check their emails, post, and the websites for the NFU and RPA so they do not miss anything vital.”