The Minister for Agriculture has been called on in the Dail to make amendments to the new Beef Data and Genomics Programme, by Roscommon South Leitrim TD, Denis Naughten.

Naughten said in recent days, more than 1,000 farmers across the country have attended meetings on the new beef genomics scheme, which he said is ‘causing absolute chaos’ at present.

He called on a emergency discussion in the Dail on the scheme.

According to Naughten suckler farmers are being squeezed out of existence due to the red tape and complexity of the new scheme.

“The closing date for the scheme is next Friday week. We need clarity on the matter,” he said.

Naughten said the Minister must return to the Dail to make amendments to the scheme in order to make it workable.

Agricultural specialists across the country could not fathom many of the provisions in the scheme, not to mind suckler farmers throughout the country.

Naughten said urgent action is needed on this and called for a debate to take place.

“Next week will be too late,” he said.

Over 1,000 farmers a day applying for new beef genomics scheme

Over 5,000 farmers have now applied to join the Beef Data and Genomics Programme and applications are coming into the Department at a rate of more than 1,000 per day, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.

The scheme is a key measure under Irelands Rural Development Plan and will see investment of some €300m into suckler farming over the next six years.

Commenting on the applications to date the Minister said it shows that beef farmers have decided that engagement with the scheme represents good business planning.

He said the scheme remains on target for the envisaged participation rate of 35,000 farmers in total for which funding of €52m per year has been provided in Department’s Rural Development Programme.