€3m Protein Aid Scheme payments to commence from today

Payments have commenced today under the Protein Aid Scheme, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has announced.

The scheme was introduced as a coupled support in 2015 as part of the implementation of the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) package in Ireland.

Speaking today, Minister Creed said that he is delighted to confirm that payments are now issuing under the Protein Aid Scheme.

The €3m set aside for this Scheme is an important support for the production of protein crops in Ireland and will be paid to over 1,000 farmers growing in excess of 12,000ha of beans, peas and lupins.

“The rate for this year has been set at €246/ha. It is particularly important for growers considering the very difficult year experienced by the tillage sector.

“It also means that the animal feed compounders have a native source of protein available for inclusion in ruminant rations.

“Payments are issuing almost two weeks earlier than last year as I am acutely aware of the particular financial pressure being experienced on tillage farms this year,” he said.

The previous Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, announced the introduction of the scheme in 2014.

Speaking at the time, he said that it was an incentive for the industry and all relevant stakeholders to grow this sector by developing crop varieties that are best suited for Irish conditions coupled with more stable market outlets.

He added that a consistent supply of protein, grown in Ireland, would potentially give Irish livestock farmers the opportunity to use more natively produced protein feed and to market their produce in higher value markets.