· 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 of €13.7m of EU funding and the remaining around of €13.7m 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 disbursement of this element to be confirmed.