According to a report in the Farmers Guardian, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has achieved its December Single Payment Scheme (SPS) targets nearly two weeks ahead of schedule.
The agency has paid more than £1.4 billion to approx 91,400 farmers since the SPS payment window opened on December 1st.
This represents 81 per cent of the estimated value of 2011 payments, against a December target of 78 per cent and 87 per cent of farmers eligible under the scheme, against a target of 86 per cent.
Farming Minister Jim Paice said the agency had already delivered its ‘highest ever proportion of payments made in the whole of December’ two weeks ahead of schedule.
Despite the obvious progress this year, approximately 14,000 farmers in England are still awaiting their payments.
Mr Paice, who also chairs the RPA Oversight Board, said: “This is the best ever performance in December and a good example of the improvements being made at the RPA.
“But I’m determined to keep driving things forward so that the remaining payments are made as soon as it’s possible.”