Calls for ‘urgent publication’ of details on Calf Investment Scheme

Calls have been made for the “urgent publication” of the detailed provisions of the Calf Investment Scheme by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Making the calls, IFA National Dairy Committee chairman Tom Phelan noted that applications for the scheme opened today, Tuesday, January 7.

The initiative was announced before Christmas on December 19 by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.

Commenting, Phelan added that additional funds must be provided in the case of oversubscription.

The scheme is an important element in supporting farmers who will need to manage increased numbers of dairy calves next spring.

“While the €1.5 million funding is welcome, this is equivalent to only €1 per calf born within the dairy herd,” the dairy chairman highlighted.

“Should the scheme be oversubscribed, it would be vital that additional funding would be made available,” Phelan said.

The chairman noted that an informative FAQ has been published; however, he warned:

There are no detailed specs available for the type of equipment which will be deemed eligible, nor is there any indication of how quickly farmers will know whether their application has been approved.

“Given the need for farmers to take prompt action before the impending calving period, it is crucial that the fullest details be published by the department urgently,” he concluded.