Mart group: ‘Important that this grant is attainable in a very practical fashion’

The announcement by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue to make a grant available to marts has been welcomed by mart organisation Associated Livestock Marts (ALM).

Commenting, the association said that the grants meant marts “could continue to provide the vital service they have and will continue to do for the agricultural sector, having to implement online bidding platforms and ringside cameras”.

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In a statement, ALM said: “There have been extreme costs outlaid on the mart industry since Covid-19 affected the way we could provide the vital service we do for farmers.

“The most recent Level 5 lockdown has certainly been hard to deliver within the industry but we have done it in a very creditable fashion,” the organisation claimed.

The mart gate has remained open, the ring has functioned and the camera has kept rolling and the trade has without doubt improved in recent weeks in both the sheep and cattle ring.

Continuing, the ALM statement said: “It is important that the minister now works closely with mart representatives in the days and weeks ahead to ensure this grant is attainable in a very practical fashion.

“However, it is extremely important that the minister continues to lobby hard on behalf of marts and farmers for an improved broadband service in rural Ireland.

“The current situation is just not fit for purpose and many of us have really struggled in weeks past to deliver our sales,” the organisation concluded.