ICSA Tillage chair Gavin Carberry has said a support package for the sector announced today by Ministers McConalogue and Hackett will do little to alleviate the current plight of tillage farmers. “While any financial support is welcome, the reality is that a package worth just over €7 million does not amount to a meaningful level of aid for the sector and will not in any way mitigate the losses incurred on tillage farms this year,” he said.
“At an individual farmer level, the package will work out at around €11.30 per acre. On an average size tillage farm of 80 acres, that amounts to €904 per holding. However, tillage farmers are losing around €300 per acre, and more if they can’t get crops harvested. When you put it into context it is abundantly clear that the level of support announced today really is just a fraction of what is required.”
“With a maximum payment of €2,800 it is also significantly lower than packages that have been given to other sectors in recent years.”
Mr Carberry said the aid announced today will also do nothing support the Climate Action Plan’s target to increase the area under tillage crops to 400,000 hectares by 2030. “Our aim is to increase the area under tillage, not drive tillage farmers out of business. It is therefore incumbent on Ministers McConalogue and Hackett to come back with a much larger package of financial supports to safeguard the sector amid the ongoing difficulties. To stop a lot of tillage farmers going under we need to see a financial package that is many multiples of what was announced today.”