IFA has devised a dedicated ‘Plan B’ document, which helps farmers compile the essential information that would be needed where someone else has to step in to run the farm if the farmer contracts Covid-19, or has to go into social isolation.
Launching the document today, IFA President Tim Cullinan said it has the most up-to-date guidance for farmers, with the centre piece being a questionnaire and helpful hints to make it as easy as possible for someone else to run their farm for a period.
“The biggest asset on any farm is the farmer. If they fall ill, family helpers or those working closely with them may also have to self-isolate and may not be available to step in,” he said.
“IFA’s key focus since this virus began was to try and keep farmers and the farming sector operating within the restrictions and guidelines set out by the Government and the HSE,” he said.
“This is very challenging, but farmers need to think of themselves and their business too. Without farmers, we have no sector” he said.
The ‘Plan B’ document is available to download from IFA’s newly-launched Covid-19 information hub on ifa.ie/COVID19. This hub will be updated regularly with farmer-specific, Covid-19 information on key issues.
- Government unemployment and illness schemes
- Health and Safety
- Banking & Taxation
- Issues posed by restrictions
- Farms with employees
“IFA has gathered all of the key agri-related information into a single, easy-to-navigate resource with FAQ’s and personnel available to deal with farmer queries,” he said.
Our Commodity committees and our specialist staff here and in Brussels are dealing with specific issues at EU and national level. They are available to support farmers through what will be a difficult time.
Tim Cullinan reiterated that farmers should undertake all precautions set down by the public health authorities. “While most farmers who contract the virus will only suffer a mild illness, some will fall ill and will not be able to continue to run the farm, or they might have self-isolate,” he said.
It’s important for IFA branch officers to check in by phone with older neighbours and those farming alone at this time.
“Our county, branch and office structure is there to support our members. I have asked all those involved in our structure to reach out to our members at this time. We can’t visit people, but we can ring them and we are doing that in an organised way throughout the country,” he said.
He said that any farmer who needs help with deliveries or because they are unwell should contact their local IFA office.