Aid Package Welcome but Insufficient for Pig Farmers
IFA National Pigs Committee Chairman Pat O’Flaherty has welcomed the announcement from the Minister for Agriculture detailing the distribution of the €1m direct aid package for pig farmers.
Minister Coveney confirmed that a flat rate payment will issue to pig farmers with a minimum supply of 200 slaughter pigs in 2015. It must now be a priority that the distribution of this payment is carried out with immediate effect by the Department.
Pat O’Flaherty said “Although IFA welcomes this payment, it is far from sufficient to address the current cash flow problems pig farmers are experiencing. Farmers have been under huge financial strain over the past 12 months, with the average margin over feed for 2015 at 37c/kg. Teagasc estimates this figure needs to be 50c/kg in order to break even. More worryingly, the past five year average margin over feed figure is running at 44c/kg.
In response to a report published yesterday by the Pig Industry Stakeholder Group, Pat O’Flaherty said IFA is satisfied to see Minister Coveney has recognised the challenges facing the sector and, through this report, is supporting the development of the industry, in line with the Food Wise 2025 vision. It is important the Implementation Group is set up without delay to ensure effective enforcement of the recommendations.