Announcement of Timeline for the New Farm Support and Development Programme

The timeline for the new Farm Support and Development programme, which aims to support farming and enhance environmental sustainability in Northern Ireland, has been announced by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

The programme will meet the unique needs and challenges of the agricultural industry and is focussed on meeting the four desired outcomes of increased productivity; improved resilience; environmental sustainability; and an effective functioning supply chain. The Schemes and Measures to be introduced will provide levers to contribute to statutory obligations under the Climate Change Act (NI) 2022, with a firm focus on just transition.

Announcing a timeline for the introduction of the new programme of Farm Support and Development, Norman Fulton, DAERA’s Head of Food and Farming Group, explained that the new programme had been co-designed by the agricultural industry and other key stakeholders across the food, farming and environment sectors.

“For the first time in a generation we will have a tailor-made programme of support, bespoke for our agricultural industry in Northern Ireland. Today we have announced the road map to delivering this – highlighting the timeline for when the different elements will roll out.

“This new programme will tackle crucial issues such as farm sustainability, farming with nature, reducing livestock emissions and meeting our obligations under the Climate Change (NI) Act 2022.

“Our goal has always been to create a profitable, productive, environmentally sustainable and resilient agri-food sector and we believe we are well on our way to achieving that. Thanks to the ideas, efforts and collaborative working from across our stakeholders we are redefining our agricultural policy for the first time in 50 years for the benefit of this and future generations.

“It means we will be targeting support and development programmes  to meet our local needs and priorities more effectively.”

He reassured farmers that this year’s payments remained unchanged and that today’s announcement was to provide a timeline for the new Farm Support and Development programme.

“There will be no change to the application process for the Basic Payment Scheme in 2023 and 2024. The new schemes and measures will be phased in over a number of years and at this point farmers do not need to take any action other than familiarise themselves with the announcement. This is just the start of a communications process and further information will be published as schemes are ready to roll out,” he explained.

The timeline for the introduction of support measures, subject to legislative and business case cover is as follows:

Ruminant Genetics         

Initiation of the Ruminant Genetics Programme in June 2023 with the launch of the tendering process for a supplier.

Livestock Dietary Emissions Challenge Fund

First tranche of a Livestock Dietary Emissions Challenge Fund to launch in Autumn 2023.

Farming for Carbon Benchmarking

A carbon benchmarking programme for Northern Ireland to commence in Autumn 2023.

Farming for the Generations

A Farming for the Generations Pilot Programme to launch in Autumn 2023.

Knowledge and Innovation

A new suite of Knowledge Transfer and Innovation programmes to commence in Spring 2024.

Farming with Nature Pilots

Farming with Nature Test and Learn Pilots to launch in late 2023 and throughout 2024.

Beef Sustainability Package – Beef Carbon Reduction Scheme

A Beef Carbon Reduction Scheme will open in early 2024.


The Horticulture Sector Growth Support Schemes will aim to commence in spring 2024.

Farm Sustainability Measure

The current Basic Payment Scheme will continue to operate in 2024 with existing land eligibility and cross compliance conditions. A Farm Sustainability Transition Payment with some new conditionalities will be introduced in 2025. The full Farm Sustainability Payment will go live in 2026.

Capital Investment Measure

It is planned that the Capital Investment Measure will be available from late 2024.

Beef Sustainability Package – Suckler Cow Measure

The Suckler Cow Scheme will open in early 2025.

Supply Chain Measure

Supply Chain Support Scheme will be provided from mid-2025.

Further information on Farm Support and Development.