RPA begins to make payments to thousands of rural businesses

7 Dec 2021 01:58 PM

£1.7bn of payments delivered to farmers in the first few days of the payment window.

The Rural Payments Agency has paid out just over 97,500 claims, totalling £1.725bn for farmers in the first few days of the payment window, which runs between December and June.

The payments cover the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), Countryside Stewardship (CS) revenue and Environmental Stewardship (ES) schemes. Eligible customers should expect to receive their full payment within the payment window which ends in June 2022.

As announced in the Agricultural Transition Plan, Direct Payments will gradually be reduced over a seven year period, starting from this Basic Payment Scheme year. The biggest reductions will initially be made to the higher payment bands.

The money will be repurposed for schemes which incentivise sustainable farming alongside profitable food production - rewarding farmers for actions that improve air and water quality, and protect wildlife and soil health.

In order to ensure that farmers are adequately supported throughout this journey, the farming resilience programme will be available throughout the first three years of the agricultural transition period to help those most affected by the phasing out of Direct Payments. This will help farmers plan and manage their businesses through the transition to the new system.

RPA Chief Executive, Paul Caldwell, said:

We understand that it has been a challenging year for rural communities, which is why we’re working hard to get payments made as quickly and efficiently as possible.

We have already paid more than 97,500 claims, totalling £1.7bn, but we know there is more to do and we understand the importance of these payments to the rural economy.

Payments are made direct to bank accounts via BACS transfer so farmers should ensure that the RPA has the most up-to-date account details on the Rural Payments service.

Be aware of fraud

Claimants are also urged to remain vigilant against fraud. They should remember: