Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed to urgently consider reintroducing the Weather Related Crop Loss Support Measure Scheme. The Measures, which consisted of targeted crop loss support to assist growers most affected by wet weather harvest conditions, was originally launched in of September 2016. The Scheme closed just one year later:
“No one can be in any doubt that recent and sometimes prolonged periods of heavy rain has threatened the viability of many farm operations.
In fact, when it was launched in 2016 the Minister himself acknowledged that wet weather is particularly problematical for cereal farmers in terms of harvest and yield losses.
The previous Scheme had a very small budget of €1.5 million. This was supposed to provide a financial contribution towards the cost of spring cereals crop losses in excess of 30% by yield, experienced by growers.
Information I have obtained from the Department shows however, that there were just 167 Applicants in 2017, 90 were paid, 60 were rejected, 21 appealed and 4 of these were successful (these are included in the 90).
The other 17 are still outstanding with the Department awaiting requested documentation.
The Minister needs to explore all options in terms of advancing target supports to farmers. That is why I have made this call so that those most affected by the recent rain and wet weather can tap into immediate levels of support to keep them going,” concluded Deputy McGrath.