IFA President Tim Cullinan said the Central Bank must move immediately to allow commercial banks and asset finance houses to extend the COVID19 loan capital and interest repayment breaks from three to six months.
“The cascading market collapse, as a result of COVID19, is unprecedented and is leading to widescale disruption for farmers and the associated processing industries. Falling commodity prices coupled with growing market disturbance is putting increased pressure on family farm finances. This is impacting negatively on cash flow across many of the farming sectors. The loss or severe reduction in off-farm income for many families is exacerbating the situation,” he said.
IFA Farm Business Chairman Rose Mary McDonagh said, “While the extension of the capital and interest break for a further three months will be of short-term assistance to farmers, the incoming Government must introduce a dedicated COVID19 Market Disruption Support low interest loan scheme to support famers. This is vitally important in protecting upstream and downstream employment as well as the productive capacity of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry”.
“Our farmers need access to sufficient funding to cover their operating expenses during this unparalleled crisis. Agri-merchants and co-operatives are not in a position to provide increased/ extended credit to farmers as they are experiencing their own cashflow problems.”
“Given the depth and breadth of the crisis, it’s critically important that financial aid is delivered down to the last mile. Low-cost funds must be channelled directly to farmers across all sectors.”