Farmers who suffered weather-related crop losses last harvest will be able to access up to €10,500 in support under the Crop Loss Scheme for the 2016 Harvest, announced today.
The new limits were agreed following IFA negotiations with Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed and the Department of Agriculture. Recently, the IFA suspended its 6 day occupation of the Department of Agriculture following a commitment by Minister Creed to enter into negotiations about the proposed scheme without preconditions. A limit of €5,000 per farmer had originally been included in the scheme by the Department of Agriculture.
IFA President Joe Healy said, “Grain farmers have had to endure a long wait for this scheme since their crops were badly affected by unprecedented weather conditions during the 2016 harvest. IFA’s campaign highlighted the severe impact on their incomes and insisted that a credible scheme had to be put in place. This culminated in the IFA Grain committee being forced to take action by occupying the Department’s offices for six days.
“The key now is to get the scheme up and running” Joe Healy said.
Following negotiations, IFA Grain Committee Chairman Liam Dunne said significant progress has been made compared to what was on the table originally, “There has been a significant increase in the maximum limit an individual farmer can receive from the scheme; this has been raised from €5,000 to over €10,000. There will also be an appeals system.”
“Getting this scheme in place has required a strong IFA campaign since September, which secured the support of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture last December, included a protest by grain farmers in January, which coincided with a Dail vote in favour of a scheme, and involved the subsequent occupation of the Department last week.” he said.
IFA President Joe Healy paid tribute to the resolve and commitment of the Grain Committee members who felt so strongly about the original €5,000 limit proposed for the scheme that they spent six nights in the Department of Agriculture last week to achieve improvements for other farmers.