NI Rural Development Programme 2014-2020

Thursday, 8 January, 2015

Updated 22/04/2015

The UFU has been heavily involved in shaping the new NI Rural Development Programme (NIRDP) and is closely following the developments in Europe, following DARD submitting the 2014-2020 programme for approval in October 2014.  While approval was expected by spring 2015, EC delays will now result in most Rural Development Programmes not being progressed in the first quarter of 2015 and the earliest the NIRDP can expect approval is now June 2015. Once the NIRDP has been approved by Brussels officials, it will be paramount that DARD ensure a smooth delivery and implementation of the programme which allows for schemes to open as soon as possible for applications.  We are concerned that for budgetary reasons, DARD are proposing that the new Environmental Farming Scheme will not open for applications in 2015. 

The UFU has been adamant that the rural development programme must deliver support for farming businesses. With a total funding allocation of £623 million, we expect a fairly comprehensive package to be delivered and it is very positive that many of the measures originally proposed by the UFU are included in the programme. The Farm Business Improvement Scheme will be attractive to many farmers and crucial for the industry’s plans for growth and development.

The UFU has already had several meetings with DARD to discuss the detail of the various measures included in the Programme and will continue to work hard to ensure that as the schemes are further developed, bureaucracy is kept to a minimum and that the schemes remain relevant and attractive to farmers.

More information can be found here