ICSA: Support Package for Tillage Sector Falls Short of Mitigating Losses

ICSA: Support Package for Tillage Sector Falls Short of Mitigating Losses
ICSA: Support Package for Tillage Sector Falls Short of Mitigating Losses

ICSA: Support Package for Tillage Sector Falls Short of Mitigating Losses

Gavin Carberry, Chair of Tillage at the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), expressed dissatisfaction with the newly unveiled support package for the sector. Carberry asserted that it inadequately addresses the losses suffered by farmers in the current crop year.

The comprehensive package, disclosed by the Minister for Agriculture on October 3, allocates €7.148 million to the tillage sector and €2.383 million to horticulture.

“While any financial support is welcome, the reality is that a package worth just over €7 million does not amount to a meaningful level of aid for the sector and will not in any way mitigate the losses incurred on tillage farms this year,” Carberry contended.

The announcement was made jointly by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, and Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity with special responsibility for horticulture, Pippa Hackett.

Minister McConalogue clarified,

“The supports are funded from Ireland’s allocation under the EU Agricultural Reserve which provides for emergency financial support for agricultural sectors affected by specific problems impacting on the economic viability of agricultural producers.”

Regarding support payments for tillage, Carberry outlined that it would average at approximately €11.30 per acre. For an average-sized tillage farm of 80 acres, this translates to €904 per holding.

“However, tillage farmers are losing around €300/ac, and more if they can’t get crops harvested.

“When you put it into context, it is abundantly clear that the level of support announced really is just a fraction of what is required,” Carberry added.

The minimum area for payment will be 5 hectares, with payments capped at 100 hectares per grower. Disbursements are anticipated in January 2024.

“With a maximum payment of €2,800 it is also significantly lower than packages that have been given to other sectors in recent years,” Carberry continued.

Carberry also expressed concern that the aid provided would hinder the goal of increasing the area under tillage crops to 400,000 hectares by 2030.

“Our aim is to increase the area under tillage, not drive tillage farmers out of business.

“It is therefore incumbent on Ministers McConalogue and Hackett to come back with a much larger package of financial support to safeguard the sector amid the ongoing difficulties.

“To stop a lot of tillage farmers going under we need to see a financial package that is many multiples of what was announced,” Carberry said.

For more information on the ICSA’s stance, visit the ICSA Official Website.


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