BPS greening rules to be discontinued in NI

The NI government says the EU's greening requirement is not effective in delivering environmental benefits
The NI government says the EU's greening requirement is not effective in delivering environmental benefits

BPS greening requirements will be dropped from 1 January 2021 for Northern Irish farmers, the devolved government has announced.

Instead, a simplification of the Basic Payments Scheme will be introduced in Northern Ireland for the 2021 scheme year.

NI's farming minister Edwin Poots said the greening requirement was 'not effective' in delivering environmental benefits.

He added there was also an 'intense administrative burden' to both farmers and NI's Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).



Speaking about the changes, the minister said: "Our analysis has indicated that greening has not delivered any benefit for the environment in NI, but it does bring with it a significant administrative burden.

"It is much better to focus our efforts and resources on developing a set of bespoke measures that will ensure the delivery of environmental outcomes tailored for Northern Ireland and which are adequately funded."



“I can confirm that I am simplifying the BPS scheme for the 2021 scheme year by discontinuing the greening requirements relating to crop diversification and ecological focus area."

Mr Poots added that the NI government was incorporating the greening payment into the overall BPS entitlement unit values – meaning that farmers would see no difference in the funding they received.

"I will retain the ban on ploughing or conversion of Environmentally Sensitive Permanent Grassland under BPS rules,” he said.

BPS payments in 2020 comprise of the Basic Payment Scheme, Greening Payment and Young Farmers’ Payments. These schemes have been in place since 2015.