IFA appeals to farming community to be extra vigilant in curbing spread of Covid-19

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has appealed to the farming community to be extra vigilant in curbing the spread of Covid-19.

Yesterday (Sunday, January 3) there were 4,962 cases confirmed, and the country finds itself in a “very fragile situation, with public health officials expressing serious concern about the level of community transmission”.

“I am asking everybody to limit their contacts and to do everything possible to reduce the threat of infection,” Tim Cullinan, president of the IFA said.

“I would encourage all farmers to review their protocols for interacting with their service providers and to strengthen the controls if necessary.

The entire sector was very successful last March in delivering a steady supply of food for supermarket shelves and we want to keep that going during this Level 5 period.

Cullinan is also reminding farmers that the IFA has developed a Plan B document, in the event that a farmer contracts Covid-19 and somebody has to take over the running of the farm at short notice.

“Each farmer should update any details that may have changed since they first completed it,” he added.

He also alerted farmers to an initiative from FBD to financially assist farm customers affected by a Covid-19 diagnosis.

Upon diagnosis and if a farmer is unable to work, a Farm Relief Service (FRS) voucher of €500 will be provided to assist in keeping farms operational.

Finally, Cullinan asked members to keep in touch with neighbours who may need assistance in the coming weeks.

“A quick phone call to check if anything is needed could be very important, and would be well received,” he said.