IFA National Sheep Chair Kevin Comiskey said the announcement in the Budget by the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to increase the targeted payment for sheep to €20/ewe is a significant move in the right direction to address the challenges on sheep farms.
Kevin Comiskey said IFA has led the campaign for a €30/ewe payment, highlighting the income challenges on sheep farms over the past two years which have been compounded by poor returns from the market place this year.
He said the announcement does not provide €30/ewe, but it does build on the existing €12/ewe and is an important first step in the campaign.
“The critical issue now will be the design of the scheme to maximise the value of these supports for sheep farmers,” he said.
He said the measures must be practical to implement at farm level and add value to the farm while keeping leakages of the monies to an absolute minimum.
IFA has put forward a number of proposals of practical on farm measures including supports for shearing and wool presentation, for animal health measures and for store lamb supports. IFA will be meeting with the Department of Agriculture in the coming days to discuss the design of the scheme.