Applications open for £2m Northern Ireland pig support scheme

The DAERA has announced that the new £2 million support package available for Northern Ireland’s pig farmers will soon open for applications, writes Meghan Taylor. 

Speaking at the Balmoral Show, DAERA minister Edwin Poots said: “This scheme will open next week to support the sector which has faced significant challenges recently.”

“Up to £2m will be made available for local pig farmers impacted by the effects of weakening markets, increased feed costs, and getting pigs moved off the farm for slaughter.”

The scheme will make payments to pig producers who incurred price penalties on overweight pigs that were outside contract specifications from September 2021 to February 2022, due to backlogs on farms.

“I announced in March that I was convinced the sector needs emergency financial support due to factors outside the farmers control, such as international supply and demand, labour availability in the processing sector, rising feed costs and repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Mr Poots.

This financial support for Northern Irish pig farmers comes at a time when Scottish pig farmers are also set to receive desperately needed funds, from the final payment of the extended Pig Producers Hardship Support Scheme.

The NPA continues to seek compensation for pig farmers in England, who have also been affected by the crisis – however, there is still no movement from Defra on this front.

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