Farm Business & Inputs Reports

Farm Business & Inputs Council Report July 2020

Activity Since Last National Council

  • Farm Business Committee meeting – the first full virtual committee meeting took place on 10th June, where members were updated on current issues:
    • PRA services update: working arrangements are subject to ongoing review with Covid restrictions, but services are open for applications for registration (processed in terms of priority, unless deemed urgent) and issuing copy documents. Registrations / searches of Deeds are also being processed.
    • VAT / vaccine: updates from the DAFM and IFA’s Animal Health committee would indicate that whilst it is a complex issue and has been delayed further by Covid, support has been secured to progress this.
    • Assistant Director General, Bryan Barry joined the meeting to update all on the submission of the 2021 pre-Budget proposals.
    • Current financial supports available and details, as known at time, re. FGLS / SBCI.
  • Separate teleconferences with AIB, BOI and Ulster Bank re. supports for farmers impacted by Covid:
    • IFA continues to update banks on current issues and future problems facing agri-sector due to Covid-19, weather and Brexit.
    • Both IFA and the banks agreed the need to extend the deadline of first time application approval for 3 month breaks from 30thJune, as the impact on some farmers is only beginning to be felt and this may result in some falling into the non-performing loan category. Both agreed to apply pressure. Extension was achieved – pushed out to 30th
    • Aspects in Programme for Government and IFA’s draft pre-budget proposals e.g. the Rainy Day Fund – support from banks for latter due to volatile nature of farming.
  • Future Growth Loan Scheme (FGLS) / Covid Credit Gurantee Scheme (CCGS) – the details continue to be developed and change constantly. As of today’s date:
    • The terms of the second phase of the FGLS currently appear to be more expansive and inclusive than in phase one, allowing for greater flexibility in usage, therefore potentially more applicable to the agri sector.
    • CCGS is less likely to be the first option for the majority of farmers, due to the eligibility criteria and interest rates.
    • Despite formation of Government, there is concern that these schemes are still being designed and no closer to launching.

Upcoming Issues

  • IFA’s pre-budget 2021 – to be submitted
  • Maintaining pressure on newly formed Government to ensure that the CCGS and FGLS are made available as soon as possible; with unrestrictive eligibility criteria and facilitating working capital, investment and credit issues.
    • Further meetings with banks to continue to get and provide feedback regarding ongoing finance issues.
ChairRose Mary McDonagh
Acting ExecutiveEleanor Ryan

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