Fine Gael Kerry TD, Brendan Griffin, has today (Wednesday) welcomed confirmation from the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, that a 50% advance on Single Farm Payments is to be paid to farmers in October, in light of the impact of the recent inclement weather on farm incomes.
Deputy Griffin raised the matter in a Parliamentary Question to the Minister.
“The bad weather is not only ruining everyone’s summer, it’s having a serious impact on farming communities. Farmers are being forced to take their cattle indoors and buy feed, as the weather is severely hampering their ability to make silage. This has serious financial implications.
“The Irish Farmers Association estimates that the poor weather could cost the agri-food sector up to €100 million this year, which is a severe blow to local rural economies. Farmers will also be concerned ahead of the grain harvest, which will be delayed due to the lack of sunlight and an abundance of rain.
“Taking these impacts into consideration, I have asked Minister Coveney whether farm payments will be advanced this year to help farmers struggling with cash flow problems. The Minister has confirmed that it’s his intention to seek the approval of the EU Commissioner to allow the payment of a 50% advance of the Single Farm Payment.
“This will come into effect from October 16th, which the Minister has said is the earliest payment date possible, as it is the first day of the new EU financial year. While it is unfortunate that the payments cannot be made even earlier, it will come as some relief to farmers than an advance is being made.
“I will be urging the Minister to keep a close eye on the situation to ensure that farmers are fully supported during this difficult period.”