Ulster Unionist politicians Robin Swann MLA and agricultural spokesperson Jo-Anne Dobson MLA have held a meeting alongside two DARD officials with farmers in Glarryford Young Farmers Hall to discuss the difficulties they are having with their Single Farm Payments.
The meeting, which was attended by upwards of 150 local farmers, was addressed by two DARD officials Dr Richard Crowe, Head of Policy and Mervyn Johnston.
Robin Swann said: “In the last few weeks, this issue has made up a high proportion of calls to my constituency office. I was amazed at the large crowd that turned out for our meeting; it shows that this issue is putting many farmers, their families, local merchants and suppliers under extreme financial pressure.
“The lack of information has compounded these difficulties, and this frustration with the Department’s processes was well echoed by many in the hall, and there are a number of issues that the Department must still address.
“I also took the opportunity to host a number of farmer visits last week in the area with Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson, who heard of the difficulties first hand.”
Jo-Anne Dobson, who chaired the Glarryford meeting said:“Robin and I take away a considerable number of concerns which we will raise at the Agriculture Committee at Stormont.”