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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 18 August, 2019
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Coveney extends fodder scheme: 'No animals should die of starvation'

The Minister also intervened with the banks and requested they provide more credit to farmers in need.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE MINISTER FOR Agriculture, Simon Coveney, has extended the duration of the imported fodder scheme for one week until 10 May to help farmers suffering from shortages of fodder following the unseasonally cold winter.

Over 3,500 tons of hay has been imported into the country so far, with more due in the coming days.

Maize silage is now eligible under the scheme with up to 6,000 tonnes currently being sourced for early delivery.

“I am satisfied that this volume of imports is making a real difference on farms and assisting farmers through the shortage,” said Coveney.

Minister Coveney also intervened with the banks and requested that they take a flexible approach by extending credit to farmers at this difficult time.

He commended the dairy co-ops for providing interest-free credit for fertilizer and reducing prices on feed supplies. He also acknowledged the farmers who have helped their fellow farmers in need of fodder.

It comes as the Irish Farmers’ Association put €1 million into a fund, which will be spent on a 3,000 tonne shipment of fodder from the northwest of France that will arrive in Ireland next week.

”The weather has improved somewhat but grass growing conditions are still below normal and there are farmers in parts of the country who are still finding it difficult to locate enough forage for their animals,” the Minister said.

Coveney added: ”No animal should die of starvation in this country and help is available to those farmers who cannot cope” said the Minister.

The animal welfare emergency assistance numbers is – 1850 21 19 90.

Read: 3,000 tonnes of fodder from France to help farmers in ‘crisis’>

More: Oireachtas agenda: Fisheries, fodder crisis and HSE spending>

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Amy Croffey

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