Minister Joe McHugh has welcomed a commitment from cabinet colleague and Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to set up a scheme to alleviate the costs of transporting fodder to farmers in Donegal.
Deputy McHugh said the move is one of a number of measures being brought in by Minister Creed to help farmers struggling to deal with difficult weather conditions since the autumn.
“Minister Creed succeeded in getting European Commission agreement for advance payment of the Basic Payment Scheme and Agri-environment schemes from October with balances paid in December,” said Government Chief Whip McHugh.
“Minister Creed has been in discussions with farmers through the Fodder task force with a view to providing a targeted contribution towards long-distance transport of fodder to counties like Donegal which have been most impacted by the weather.”
Minister McHugh said a formal scheme to help with transport costs will be established in the coming days.
The task force group’s objective is to actively monitor the situation and to ensure co-ordinated expertise and guidance is available to affected farmers regarding their options. These may include sourcing alternative feed, reducing non-breeding stock numbers and ensuring they continue to carry out fodder budgeting.
“Fodder sale and purchase is a normal and significant trade between farms on an annual basis and it is important that any prudent measure brought forward is appropriately targeted to those most impacted whilst not impacting negatively on this trade,” said Minister Creed.
“I would also stress that if a situation arises where the welfare of livestock is at risk, herdowners should contact the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Animal Welfare helpline or Regional Veterinary Office for support.”Tags: