Many farmers will face increased cashflow problems as a result in delays in Rural Development Programme (RDP) payments, Fianna Fail’s Spokesperson on Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue has warned.

According to McConalogue, only 52% of the funds available under the RDP budget has been paid out to farmers so far this year.

Commenting on obtained figures, the Fianna Fail TD said that the massive under spend will result in tough times for farmers.

“It’s quite unbelievable that only half of this year’s funding for agri-schemes has been paid to farmers. This will result in serious financial hardship for farmers across the country.

“It’s particularly worrying that less than 4% of GLAS payments have been made.

The government failed to allocate the level of funding that it originally promised for this scheme, and now it’s failing to pay out. This is a completely unacceptable situation.

McConalogue also said that payments under TAMS and the Beef Data and Genomics Scheme are seriously behind schedule.

“These under spends are significant by any metric and will have serious consequences for small family farmers.

“Many farmers have had to take out loans to keep their businesses going while they wait for their payments to come through, and these delays will exacerbate an already difficult situation,” he said.

McConalogue also stressed that farmers should not have to rely on banks and other financial institutions to cover the cost of works, which these agri-schemes cover.

“This is creating a major cash flow crisis, which is completely preventable.

“This has been a very difficult year for farmers, and these under spends and delayed payments are making a bad situation worse.

The Donegal-based TD also urged the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, to ensue that these payments are forthcoming this month so that farmers are not left in the lurch.