Watch: IFA brings combine harvester to tillage protest
The IFA protest at the Department of Agriculture entered its sixth day today, marked with the arrival of a combine harvester.
IFA initially welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed of €1.5m in of a financial support scheme for farmers who lost crops in the 2016 harvest due to dire weather conditions.
However, the IFA is now protesting over the €5,000 limit per individual tillage farmer in the scheme. Four farmers have occupied the offices since last Wednesday and today IFA President Joe Healy drove the combine harvester around the corner from the Shelbourne Hotel to the front of the Department of Agriculture where he addressed the protesters from the combine.
The emergency fund is worth an estimated €1.5m and is set to open for tillage farmers in parts of the country hit by poor weather during last year’s harvest.
The ‘Crop Loss Compensation’ scheme will make a maximum of €5,000 available to up to 300 private tillage farmers.
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture confirmed the new scheme but said it will only support private tillage farmers whose damaged crops had no commercial value and where upwards of 30pc “verified crop loss” volume occurred.
“This was a challenging scheme to put tougher in terms of quantifying and verifying dreadful losses to farmers”
“It will be a maximum payment of €5,000 per applicant with a ceiling of €200 per hectare. It will be limited to a max area of 25 hectares per applicant,” said the spokesperson.