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Coveney Announces Details of €27.4m Payments for the Dairy and Pig Sectors

Minister confirms flat rate payment for each of the 18,000 dairy farmers of €1,350

 

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney T.D. today announced details of the direct aid package for the dairy and pig sectors of €27.4m. This compromises €13.7m of EU funding and a further €13.7m in matching national funding. The payment will be made on a flat rate basis with each of the 18,000 dairy farmers in the country receiving approximately €1,350. There will be an additional €800 top-up for young dairy farmers.

Minister Coveney commented “in September I presented a six point plan to address the particularly acute situation in the dairy and pig sectors sector to the EU Commissioner and my EU ministerial colleagues. I was extremely pleased that the final decision at Council in September took significant account of Ireland’s requests including an improved PSA scheme for both SMP and pigmeat, which will include longer periods for storage as well as the improved aid rates, the re introduction of PSA for cheese, a provision allowing 70% advance in the single farm payment, a provision of increased funding for promotion and the provision of almost €14m in targeted direct aid for farmers which can be matched nationally. These measures will certainly go some way towards alleviating the worst effects of the current market downturn, particularly from a cash-flow perspective. The disbursement of this payment is now the final piece of the implementation of this package

Young farmers for this payment will be defined as dairy farmers who have successfully applied for the Young Farmer Scheme. This top-up payment will be made in early 2016 when the scheme is finalised. €1m of the overall package will be reserved for the pig sector with the mechanism for disbursement of this element to be decided shortly.

Commenting on the payments the Minister said “I have listened carefully to what the stakeholders have had to say and all have advocated for a flat rate payment. I am of the same view on the basis that it is the fairest method and one in which all farmers gain equally irrespective of size. It is our intention now to get these payments out to farmers before Christmas. It should be remembered that this payment comes on top of the 70% advance payment also agreed as part of this package and which has now delivered over €1bn to farmers in the last two months”.

Concluding the Minister said “while this has been a difficult year for the dairy and pig sectors, I remain confident that the medium term outlook is very positive. It is clear though that managing price volatility will have to be our main priority going forward. I have already discussed this in detail at the meeting of the Dairy Forum and am committed to working with the sector on initiatives to mitigate price volatility in the future”.

 

View this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 221/2015 (pdf 372Kb) 

Date Released: 10 December 2015