Farm Ireland

Saturday 17 March 2018

Latest figures reveal 3,500 farmers due payment under Milk Reduction Scheme

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The number of Irish dairy farmers due payment under the EU Voluntary Supply Management Scheme is understood to have fallen to in the region of 3,500.

It was announced last year that some 4,800 farmers had initially applied for the first tranche of the scheme, however numbers due for payment this spring are understood to be substantially lower.

According to industry sources, 3,500 farmers have fully complied with the scheme's conditions reducing their production by 55m litres.

It is also understood that farm organisations have as yet been given no commitment on when payments under the scheme will issue. Under the EU regulations governing the scheme farmers must be paid before the end of March.

ICMSA Dairy Spokesman, Gerald Quain has said that Minister for Agriculture must ensure payments issue to farmers before the end of February.

“February is an extremely tight cashflow period on farms and this money would go along way to alleviate pressures on farmers at this time. There is no reason the Department can’t make payment before the end of the month.”

The EU Voluntary Supply Management Scheme for dairy was a short term market stabilisation mechanism introduced by the EU Commission last year, as part of a range of tools to mitigate price volatility in the Dairy sector.

In phase 1 of the scheme, applicants were required to reduce milk production in the period October 2016 to December 2016, compared to the same period in 2015. 

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Payment will be on the basis of the actual reduction rather than that predicted in the application, subject to the certain terms and condition. 

The Department will process the applications and payment will be made to qualifying participants following EU approval.

Payments must be made within 90 days of the final date of the reduction period for phase 1, that is  December 31, 2016, as laid out under the terms of the scheme.

Phase II of the scheme required applicants to reduce production in the period November 2016 to January 2017.

The closing date for applications to co-ops under phase II has not yet been finalised, but is expected to be early March.

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