Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has welcomed the news that Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD has confirmed that payments under the direct aid package for the dairy and pig sectors are now issuing to farmers.
The payments are the final tranche under the package agreed at EU level in September of last year which allocated €13.7m for Ireland. The Government subsequently matched this funding to provide an overall aid package of €27.4m
Commenting on the payments, the Ireland South MEP said that farm incomes have faced serious challenges in Ireland in the past year and that it should be a key priority of both the European Commission and the Irish government to do everything that they can to assist farmers at this difficult time.
“Pig and diary farmers are under enormous pressure due to market difficulties and I welcome the direct aid package from the European Commision and the matched funding from the Irish government. Today’s payments are a €1,000 top-up to almost 1,500 young farmers who were successful applicants under the Department’s Young Farmer Scheme. This complements the payments to over 17,600 farmers in December. In the pig sector, there are almost 300 approved applications for aid, and payments of €3,300 to each participant have commenced this week.
“Ireland is one of the few EU member states to have drawn down their allocation to date and together with the Government’s top-up will provide some practical assistance to farmers.