25 APRIL 2018
ICSA sheep chairman John Brooks has welcomed a statement today from Minister Creed that payments owed to farmers under the Sheep Welfare Scheme will commence this week. “Around 20,000 sheep farmers will soon receive the outstanding 15% due to them under the scheme for actions carried out. Having endured major weather events over the long winter, this payment couldn’t have come quickly enough,” he said.
“As the fodder crisis hit hard over the last few months, ICSA has been demanding that all outstanding scheme payments be issued as a matter of urgency. Cashflow has been a huge issue on drystock farms and many have struggled not only with sourcing adequate fodder but paying for it also. The importance of paying out on schemes promptly has never been more apparent.”
“Access to working capital is vital for drystock farmers and remains an issue. ICSA will continue to lobby the Department of Agriculture to introduce a low interest loan scheme for farmers whereby up to €10,000 in working capital can be accessed. This could offer a lifeline for cattle and sheep farmers who do not have the safety net of incoming monthly payments.”
Concluding, Mr Brooks said, “Remaining GLAS payments must be prioritised now.”