Subsidised fodder imports twice as high in 2013 than this year

Figures show that fodder imports that were subsidised by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in 2013 equated to double the volume of what was brought in this year.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, revealed the statistics in a recent response to a parliamentary question from Fine Gael TD Pat Deering.

Introduced on April 5, 2018, the aim of the Fodder Import Support Measure was to provide an additional source of fodder to livestock farmers at an important time when supplies of fodder nationally were very tight.

At the time of the initial announcement, it was outlined that the measure would make a financial contribution towards the transport costs associated with the importation of fodder from other member states – excluding Northern Ireland.

When it was first announced, the closed date was set as Monday, April 30; but, the minister granted an extension of one week – pushing it out until May 7.

Commenting on the situation earlier this year, Minister Creed said: “Approved co-ops and importers submitted the applications, supporting documentation and relevant information on the quantity of fodder imported.

“The actual quantity of fodder imported will only be available when processing of applications is completed. Funding made available was estimated to provide for the importation of up to 20,000t of fodder into the country.

However, it is estimated that approximately 18,000t was imported thereby achieving its purpose and within the budgetary allocation.

Continuing, the minister explained that the Fodder Import Transport Scheme that operated in 2013 was introduced on April 15, 2013, and ran until the end of May that year.

“A total of €2.8 million issued to 18,000 beneficiaries under the scheme covering approximately 40,000t of imported fodder at that time,” the minister explained.

This represents just over twice the amount of fodder as what was brought in under the corresponding scheme earlier this year.