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Friday 22 June 2018

Fianna Fail to demand short-term loan to compensate farmers for fodder crisis at Dail meeting

Jackie Cahill
Jackie Cahill
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Farmers will get a short-term loan to compensate for difficulties brought on by the fodder crisis, under proposals to be brought to government by Fianna Fáil tomorrow.

Under the scheme farmers would receive a payment to help fund extra feed costs brought on by the exceptionally wet weather.

Farmers would then pay off the loan through their single farm payment subsidies over a three year period.

Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill will make the proposal to Agriculture Michael Creed at a special Oireachtas Committee meeting tomorrow. He said the creation of such a scheme would be cost effective and prevent farmers having to work with banks to address the fodder crisis.

According to Cahill, the actual cost of buying fodder has not been addressed by the Government adding the vast majority of farmers do not have the cash flow at present to pay the upfront costs of additional fodder and concentrates.

“In addition to fodder costs, farmers are purchasing concentrates to beef up the fodder to ensure that milk and beef quality is maintained.

“The Government should make available to affected farmers low-interest loans to allow them purchase the fodder they need to feed their animals.

“It has been estimated that many farmers are forking out an additional €1000 per week just to keep their animals fed.

 “The banks involved in this loan scheme must also be told not to make farmers jump through any unnecessary hoops when applying for these loans.

“Farmers are under severe financial pressure; that’s widely accepted and known, but what is not being spoken about is the severe mental health pressure that farmers are facing before of the current situation.

“Minister Creed has taken an age to accept that there is a problem with fodder in this country; he cannot waste any more time in ensuring that farmers can access the credit they need to continue feeding their animals and ensuring that Irish consumers can continue to purchase Irish reared meat,” concluded Cahill.

The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed announced last week that he has allocated €1.5m towards the introduction of a Fodder Import Support measure. “

‘In light of poor weather conditions and an evolving fodder supply challenge across the country, I am immediately introducing a support measure contributing to the cost of importing fodder from abroad.”

The Minister said he welcome the moves to import fodder by the co-operatives and this measures supports this initiative.

This measure is being introduced with immediate effect to reduce the cost to farmers of imported forage (hay, silage, haylage etc.) from outside the island of Ireland.


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