Galway East TD and Minister for Rural Affairs Seán Canney has backed a series of measures to support agriculture through the COVID-19 crisis.
Minister Canney said: “Our domestic food supply chain is vital for our farmers and for ourselves.
“The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is working hard to ensure that producers and processors can continue to work as effectively as possible during the current pandemic.
“Both producers and processors are implementing business continuity plans to underpin the supply chain.
“The Department has engaged with the leaders of farming organisations and other stakeholders to prioritise the continuation of essential processes, such as payments, TB testing, animal welfare inspections, animal identification and passport issuing, BVD testing, controls at marts and animal export certification.
“Farmers’ livelihoods depend on payments and the need for them to be delivered in a timely fashion will be even greater in the current crisis.
“I am pleased that my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, has called on the European Commission to be ready to implement emergency measures.
“These include specific sectoral supports and flexibility around some CAP measures such as on-the-spot controls, advance payments and the application of force majeure provisions.”
Supports available to all business are open to farmers, including the COVID-19 Working Capital Loans Scheme. There are also specific sectoral supports for agriculture, such as the Calf Investment Scheme, while the Department will be holding Basic Payments Scheme clinics in April and May to avoid any delay in applications and payments.
Farmers who have to self-isolate or are diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus are eligible for social welfare support.
The Department has set up an information line for farmers which will be open 9.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 5pm Monday to Friday. The number is 076-1064468.
For more information, contact Minister Canney on 086-2513639
April 2 2020