Low cost loan scheme must be opened and outstanding GLAS payments issued to help ease crippling costs of fodder crisis- Murphy
Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy has said that Minister Creed must immediately open a low cost loan scheme as announced in Budget 2018 as farmers are struggling to cope with the crippling costs of buying additional fodder.“Last October the Minister announced that €25m was being allocated to leverage a low cost loan scheme for farmers, fishermen and for longer-term capital financing for food businesses in response to Brexit. The fodder crisis is escalating as farmers are under serious financial pressure trying to meet the costs of buying extra fodder to feed their cattle and farmers across Roscommon and Galway are reaching breaking point,” warned Deputy Murphy.
“We have ensured unprecedented levels of rainfall in recent times and I also believe farmers should be given some leeway in terms of farm inspections while it is also imperative that outstanding GLAS payments are issued as a matter of urgency,” said Deputy Murphy.
“In 2016, €25 million in exchequer and EU funds was used to guarantee a total loan fund of €150 million for farming loans at low-cost interest rates of 2.95%.
“An equivalent scheme needs to be urgently finalised and opened now to help farmers purchase the fodder they need to feed their animals and keep their businesses afloat.
"This is the second time in five years that this type of situation has arisen and the Minister seems to have had his head buried in the sand in relation to the extent of the fodder crisis.
“Many farmers are under extreme financial stress. He needs to act immediately and provide low cost loans to farmers, while also providing meal vouchers for those to survive the next two weeks, “concluded Deputy Murphy.
Deputy Murphy is available for further comment or interview on 087 1668775.
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