The IFA has called on the government to introduce a low-interest loan package for farmers to help off-set expenses caused by the recent drought, according to the Irish Independent.
IFA president Joe Healy has written to Michael Creed, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, seeking an urgent meeting to try to push forward the low-cost loan scheme which was announced in last October’s budget.
The move was inspired by a warning from Teagasc regarding the massive loans in the vegetable sector due to the impact of the heatwave and drought, and after Glanbia announced a €20 million package to assist its milk suppliers.
Despite news that the rain will be returning in the next, Healy said that any delay in introducing the loan package was “simply unacceptable”.
Farmers around the country have been starved of grass due to the heat, and farmers have been forced to open silage pits as a result. The Independent reports that farmers are feeding cows up to 10-12kgs/hd/ day of concentrates and coarse rations to keep the animals going.
“Farmers are crying out for some sort of help during what is an extraordinarily difficult time due to the ongoing drought, which has added significant costs on farms and created major cashflow difficulties,” Mr Healy said.
“These loans, which were announced in October’s Budget, may have helped some farmers to fund some of the increased costs that have piled on in the last few weeks. Yet it is clear that it is still a long way off.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.