North’s dairy aid package worth €1,920 to each dairy farmer

The average dairy farmer in Northern Ireland is set to receive an average of €1,920 from the North’s £5.1m dairy aid package.

Meanwhile, dairy farmers south of the border will be sharing a fund of €13.7m – or €720 per dairy farmer, according to the IFA.

It was announced today by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in the UK that dairy farmers in the North will receive £5.1m of the UK’s allocation of £26.2m.

The decision to allocate nearly 20% of the Member State’s aid package to the North comes after the North’s agricultural minister Michelle O’Neill highlighted, both in London and in Brussels, the unique and difficult circumstances facing the industry there.

The money will be paid out to dairy farmers across the North, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (DARD) said.

Looking at DARD’s June agricultural census, there are 2,655 dairy farms in the North.

Dairy farmers will receive a one-off payment, which will be based on a flat rate per litre of milk production, to help with cash-flow difficulties, DARD said.

Dividing this package the North’s dairy farmers means that on average each farmer will receive £1,800 (€2,439).

Pig and dairy farmers in the Republic will receive on average €720-730, according to the IFA.

Following the announcement by the European Commission that Ireland is to receive just under €14m from a €420m European aid package, the IFA has said it is a missed opportunity.

IFA Dairy Committee Chairman, Sean O’Leary said looking at criteria such as national quota or cow numbers it should have been higher in the region of €15-20m.

Despite this O’Leary did say that the package is better than nothing.

“We are 8th-9th in terms of highest and lowest envelopes with the Baltic States worst hit by the Russian ban receiving the most.”

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