Pig sector payments equivalent to £2600 per producer have started arriving on around 300 approved Irish farms under a joint EU/Irish government support package agreed in September last year.
The EU’s provision of €13.7m (£10.8m) for sharing between Ireland’s dairy and pig sectors, has been topped up by an Irish government commitment which brings the total payment pot to €27.4m (£21.6m).
The arrival of the cash coincides with the publication by Ireland’s newly elected “partnership government” of a 156-page policy document which declares the new administration’s aims for the future, including as it relates to farming.
“We will pay particular attention to the development of the agriculture and food sector,” states the document. “Agriculture is the heartbeat of the rural economy and schemes must be tailored to meet the challenges of farming on all types of land, across all sectors and on all sizes of farm holdings. The next generation of farmers must be supported and Ireland positioned as the highest quality food producing nation in the world, based on innovation and sustainability.”
In addition, in a separate commitment to Ireland’s pig farmers, the statement adds: “We will provide support for on-farm investment through TAMS II (Ireland’s on-farm capital investment support programme). The on-farm animal health and welfare scheme, provided through the Rural Development Plan, will also benefit the pig sector.”
The document also declared that the new government will work with the Pig Industry Stakeholder group to enhance areas such as food safety, quality, animal welfare and environmental sustainability.
A commitment was also made that the government will focus on the development of new and alternative markets to provide “opportunities for certainty and growth” in the pigmeat sector.
Headline image is taken from the new document.