Some 500 farmers are expected to give the green light to environmental farming projects with funding estimated at £ 14million, the Northern Ireland Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has announced, Edwin Poots.

As part of the fifth cycle of the Environmental Agriculture Program (EFS) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), successful applicants can expect to receive their online offer from a agreement in the coming weeks.

“The Environmental Agriculture Program is an important but voluntary program that helps farmers take action that helps mitigate climate change, maintain biodiversity, and improve water quality through a range of options.” , Poots explained.

“It is funded by the North Ireland Rural Development Program and this £ 14million program is in addition to the £ 63million already committed through the EFS to date.

“We are confident that most farmers who have applied for the EFS Wider Tranche 5, and provided the required information, can expect to receive their offers before the Christmas holidays.

“They will then have 21 days to confirm their acceptance of the five-year agreement. The rest will be released in January 2022.

“If you have received an offer of agreement, please log into DAERA online services using your Government Gateway ID and password by the deadline stated in the letter to view and accept your agreement.

“Agreements can only be accepted online,” added Minister Poots.