Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Farm Costs

Photo of Michael McNamaraMichael McNamara (Clare, Independent)
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129. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will consider a future review of the €400 per hectare grant being offered to encourage farmers to plant additional barley, wheat and oats in view of the anticipated further increase in fuel, fertiliser and other production costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17026/22]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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The Government continues to monitor the ongoing serious situation caused by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and Ireland’s co-ordinated humanitarian, economic and diplomatic response to the crisis.

As Minister, I have raised the challenge facing our farm families both at national and European level consistently in recent months. I continue to take a proactive approach to the challenge facing our farm families and their businesses.

The crisis in Ukraine has had an impact on Irish agriculture and supply chains. The price of energy, animal feeds, fertiliser, fuel, silage plastics and other farm input prices have all increased.

Given the seriousness and urgency of the situation, I have put in place a Rapid Response Team in the Department chaired by the Secretary General to actively monitor the impacts on agri-food supply chains, to design appropriate mitigation measures and to contribute to the whole of Government response to this crisis.

I also quickly established the National Fodder and Food Security Committee to examine how best to advise the sector to manage the disruptions. This committee, under the chairmanship of Mike Magan, is doing excellent work and I will continue to support it.

I announced a €12 million package to support the growing of additional tillage and protein crops and to support the establishment of multi-species swards.

This three-pronged approach will contribute towards the expected deficit in tillage and protein crops. It will also assist farmers to deal with the challenges related to both the availability and price of animal feed and fertilisers.

The total package includes €10 million for a Tillage Incentive Scheme, €1.2 million to guarantee a payment of €300 per hectare for protein crops and an additional €1 million for a Multi-Species Scheme. My Department is now finalising the finer details of the package of measures.

These targeted measures will help Ireland build resilience against the expected impact of the situation in Ukraine. The Government will continue to assess the situation and will respond as appropriate.

I will continue to support our farm families and their businesses through this challenging time for the sector.


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