Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has allocated €1.5m for the importation of fodder to help reduce costs for farmers, writes Elaine Loughlin.
The announcement of the importation support measure, came after Mr Creed faced rising pressure from farming organisations and political parties to intervene in the fodder crisis.
The first loads of hay and silage which are being brought in by co-ops across the country arrived at Irish ports this morning, with more expected in the coming days.
Announcing the State support to help with transport costs, Mr Creed this evening said it would reduce the cost of imported fodder by around a third for farmers many of whom have been struggling as a result of poor weather conditions and an evolving supply challenge across the country.
The measure will operate through the dairy co-operatives and will cover forage imported by the co-ops until the end of this month. However, like a similar support rolled-out in 2013, the scheme could be extended if bad weather conditions continue.
“I welcome the moves to import fodder by the co-operatives and this measures supports this initiative. The co-operative ethos remains very strong and vibrant in Irish Agriculture," said Mr Creed.