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Fodder Scheme is a solid first step to offering practical support for farmers – Lombard

Mental health supports also required after a gruelling winter

9th April 2024 - Senator Tim Lombard

The new fodder scheme is good news for farmers, but there are more immediate things that can and should be done to relieve the burden on the farming community right now, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Senator Tim Lombard, Fine Gael Spokesperson on Agriculture explained: “A financial contribution is being provided to offset transport costs of hay, fodder beet, straw and silage for feeding, where this involves a distance of more than 75 km. Farmers will be eligible to receive a financial contribution towards offsetting the costs of transport of fodder.

“In his speech at the Fine Gael Ard Fhéis, Minister Simon Harris reiterated that Fine Gael is the party of farmers, fishermen and rural Ireland. He told us that he is listening and acknowledged that farmers needed help due to the brutal weather. He promised that Fine Gael would respond,” Senator Lombard outlined.

“To that end, the announcement of a Fodder Scheme this morning is very welcome. It’s a solid first step in offering practical support to the farming community at a very tough time. Farmers are under pressure for fodder and storage, while ground conditions are appalling. Everything is a worry and it’s easy to feel isolated and alone.

“But there are other immediate things that can also be done to relieve the burden on the farming community right now. This must be the start of a process in supporting the farming community.

“Small measures; like pushing out the looming April 19th closing date for derogation applications and dairy banding submissions, extending timelines for Bord Bia inspections and deadlines for BISS applications would all help to take some of the pressure off the farming community at this time. We also need some flexibility around regulations and paperwork to further support farmers.

“I’ve spoken in the last week about the importance of looking after our own mental health and that of our neighbours and friends in the wider farming community. We need to pick up the phone, go for a coffee, get off the farm for a couple of hours and talk to each other.

“The practical supports are needed and are starting to come through, but in addition to those, we need to redouble our efforts in providing mental health supports to farmers, which are also a necessity after this never-ending winter,” Senator Lombard concluded.


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