An IFA National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey has strongly encouraged all sheep farmers to apply for the new €10 per ewe sheep scheme, recently announced by the Minister of Agriculture Michael Creed.
John Lynskey said sheep farmers should attend the meetings arranged for later this month by the Department of Agriculture, familiarise themselves with the details of the scheme and make an application by the closing date of January 31st 2017.
John Lynskey said the new €10 per ewe scheme is a very positive development for the Irish sheep sector. He said IFA undertook an intensive campaign throughout 2015/2016 and succeeded in securing a commitment in the Programme for Government and funding in Budget 2017 of €25m per year for the new scheme.
John Lynskey said with 2.5m ewes in the national flock, there is adequate funding in the scheme to cover every sheep farmer with a breeding flock. In addition, he said IFA has also outlined the need to accommodate young farmers and new entrants under the application arrangements.
The IFA National Sheep Chairman said the Irish sheep sector involves 35,000 farmers, 2.5m ewes, and annual output of 61,000t, valued at €290m. He said analysis conducted by Professor Alan Renwick from UCD shows that each €1 of direct support for the sheep sector underpins €2.7 of economic output and €1.72 of household income in the Irish economy.