There will be support for farmers put in place in Budget 2023 to offset energy costs, Agriland understands.
Concerns had been expressed that measures of this kind would not be forthcoming for farmers, and that they would be excluded from a proposed new energy support scheme.
Commenting on the situation earlier this week, Irish Farmers Association (IFA) president Tim Cullinan said that the exclusion of farmers from such a scheme “is completely unacceptable, and a further blow to a farming sector greatly exposed by the cost of living crisis”.
However, it is understood that farm organisations have been told that support will be provided for farmers in Budget 2023 to offset energy costs, though the details of what this support may look like has not yet been outlined.
Potential supports for farmers in the coming budget came up yesterday (Wednesday, September 21) in an interview with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue as part of Agriland’s livestream of the 2022 National Ploughing Championships.
The minister said that he is working with his cabinet colleagues to develop options to support farmers facing high input costs.
He commented: “In terms of the budget, we are finalising supports that will be in place across various parts of the economy.
“I am engaging with other ministers and with the Minister for Public Expenditure [Michael McGrath] in relation to the supports that will be in place.”
The minister also confirmed that there will be a second Tillage Incentive Scheme in 2023.
Minister McConalogue said that the scheme will be allocated €10 million in funding, the same as the inaugural scheme this year.
Where farmers who participated in this year’s scheme maintain the land they put under tillage into 2023, they will be paid €200/ha on that land.
As well as that, the €400/ha rate for new land put under tillage will again be in place under the new scheme for next year.
According to the minister, the tillage sector has grown by between 6% and 7% this year on the back of the Tillage Incentive Scheme.
Additional reporting by Charles O’Donnell