Donegal TD Charlie McConalogue has called on the Minister for Agriculture to bring forward the balancing payment for GLAS participants to ease the pressure on farmers during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Farmers are already beginning to experience cashflow problems at this costly time of year, according to Deputy McConalogue.
The Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food, and the Marine said up to 48,000 farmers are waiting on GLAS payments in May, but these extraordinary times have added urgency to the issue.
“Given the national public health emergency and cashflow problems farmers are beginning to experience it is important the Minister brings this payment forward,” said Deputy McConalogue.
“While the remaining 15% of the payment is normally made following successful inspections of lands eligible under the scheme these are extraordinary times for the farming community and require extraordinary supports. The farming sector is approaching a time of year when costs run high for farmers. Fertiliser has to be bought before cattle return to the grass. There are a number of other costs associated as we move into the summer season.
“Farmers are already running into cashflow problems. I am aware of credit being restricted by merchants due to concerns about the ability of farmers to repay short term credit given the global uncertainty due to the outbreak of coronavirus.”
Deputy McConalogue says intervention is needed from the European Union and Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski to immediately implement support measures that fall under their exclusive competence as provided for under the CAP’s Common Market Organisation Regulation.
He continued: “We need substantive action from Europe and here at home from government. Cashflow difficulties are being faced by farmers right now and one immediate step that Minister Creed must take to provide some assistance to farmers is securing approval for GLAS balancing payments to commence immediately.”