A senator has requested that a new report on the Irish pig industry is reviewed by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The report, The Pig Industry and Ireland’s Economy, estimates that 10% of pig farmers have already exited the sector in recent months, with a further 20% at risk of leaving the industry.

Government support to date covers approximately 16% of the €127 million losses which are expected to be incurred by farmers in 2022, according to the PwC report.

The pig industry contributes approximately €1.5 billion annually to the Irish economy while supporting over 8,000 jobs, and holding an export value of €932 million.

However, due to spiralling feed costs and low prices the sector is currently facing a financial crisis.

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said that a minimum price of €2/kg is immediately needed to help reduce the pressure on pig farmers as they cannot continue to sustain these losses.

Senator Victor Boyhan
Senator Victor Boyhan

Senator Victor Boyhan told Agriland that he has written to the chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Jackie Cahill and his fellow committee members requesting that they review the report.

The independent senator said that the recommendations made by PwC need to be urgently considered given the “precarious state of the pig industry”.

“The report only landed on my desk yesterday (Thursday, June 9) and I had a quick read over it and thought we, as a committee, have an obligation to look at issues like this.

“What I want is to tease out the report and see what the committee recommends,” the senator said.

“Let’s not put it up, like so many reports, thrown on the shelf gathering dust,” Boyhan stated.