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Tuesday 22 May 2018

Fodder Transport Scheme is not working and must be revised - IFA

Fodder arrives in Dowra from Tipperary. Gerry McMorrow loads fodder from Tipperary onto a farmers trailer after it arrived in McMorrow Timber Yard, Dowra, Co Leitrim. Photo Brian Farrell
Fodder arrives in Dowra from Tipperary. Gerry McMorrow loads fodder from Tipperary onto a farmers trailer after it arrived in McMorrow Timber Yard, Dowra, Co Leitrim. Photo Brian Farrell

IFA President Joe Healy has said the Fodder Transport Scheme is not working and must be revised.

Speaking ahead of the Sligo IFA AGM this evening (Monday), Healy said, fodder shortages will become even more apparent following the recent storm as fodder that would have been available from the south and south-east of the country may now be in doubt.

“Despite obvious and ongoing fodder difficulties on a significant number of farms, only six applications have been made to the scheme.

"It is clear that the scheme does not work for farmers and Minister Creed must come forward with a more meaningful scheme to include meal vouchers, which have proven successful in the past during times of fodder shortage.

“It was clear from early on that the transport subsidy was not working; there is far too much bureaucracy involved and farmers are forced to jump through too many hoops to access support.

"As an example, the lower limit of €100 of a transport subsidy means that smaller farmers will not get into the scheme.”

Joe Healy said a meal voucher system is the simplest solution to the grave situation, and the Minister needs to act immediately to properly support affected farmers.

“Farmers are now at crisis point with grass growth delayed by at least two weeks due to the cold temperatures and land saturation following the recent poor weather,” he said. 

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