Department ready to increase budget for Fodder Import Support Measure

The budget for the Fodder Import Support Measure will be increased if necessary, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, confirmed this afternoon.

While addressing a meeting of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine – which met this afternoon to discuss the fodder crisis – the minister explained that the original €1.5 million budget announced was just a “guesstimate”.

He added that €1 million was originally allocated to the 2013 fodder import scheme – which was demand-led. This budget ended up stretching to approximately €2.6 million by the time the issue was resolved, he said.

Commenting on the initial allocation for this year, Minister Creed said: “This is an initial guesstimate of what it would take to get us out of this situation; but, it is obviously demand-led. Until we are out of it, the department will stick with it.

The €1.5 million is what we estimated would be required to cover 20,000t at rates commensurate to what was broadly supported in 2013 per tonne.

“We have always said from the offset that if the crisis continues further, the level of support would continue beyond the €1.5 million.

“But, it is our estimate that – weather permitting – the end of April should see us out of this,” he added.

The terms and conditions of the measure – which were published late last week – state: “In the event of eligible applications in excess of the total budget available for the measure being received, the department will implement reduced payments as appropriate.”

As it stands, a total of 14 co-ops and importers have been approved by the department to participate in the measure.

Approved co-operatives and importers include:
  • Anglo East Ltd;
  • Aurivo Co-operative;
  • Centenary Thurles Co-op;
  • Clare Marts Ltd;
  • Dairygold Co-operative Society Ltd;
  • Divide Investments T/A Brownes Stores;
  • Glanbia Foods Ireland Ltd;
  • Kenmare Livestock Mart Co-operative Society Ltd;
  • Kerry Agribusiness;
  • Lakeland Dairies Co-op Soc. Ltd;
  • Lisavaird Co-operative Creamery Ltd;
  • Maam Cross Mart T/A Burkes Livestock Mart;
  • Newtownsands Co-op;
  • Tipperary Co-op Creamery Ltd.