IFA seeks five-fold increase to pig sector payment

Ireland’s pig farmers say they’re grateful for a €1m (£730,000) special package secured for the sector by the Irish government but have added that they believe the figure should actually be five times that amount.

The original funding provision, announced recently by Irish farm minister, Simon Coveney, was that an EU provision of €13.7m for dairy and pig producers, first agreed in September this year, would be matched by a further €13.7m of national funding.

It was subsequently decided that the dairy part of the fund will be paid on a flat-rate basis to Ireland’s 18,000 dairy farmers, with each receiving approximately €1,350. The mathematics of that, of course, leaves around €1m for use by the pig sector, a fact which has now produced a “more please” request from Irish Farmers’ Association’s pigs committee chairman, Pat O’Flaherty.

Pointing out that  margin over feed for the past 12 months in Ireland is 13c/kg (9p/kg) below pig producers’ current break-even level, he warned that farmers remained in a serious loss-making situation, and that they’d been there for some time.

“Minister Coveney’s announcement of a €1m package for pig farmers is a very welcome measure,” continued Mr O’Flaherty. “However IFA is requesting a top up to reflect gross output values which would entitle pig farmers to €5m of the total €27.4m package, funds which would go some way to alleviating financial pressures for pig farmers.”

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