Liquidity concerns, strengthening co-operation, supporting quality schemes, and providing training in financial management, have been identified by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed as issues where the €11.09 million exceptional adjustment aid from the EU offers possibilities for meaningful and innovative interventions.
Member States are required to notify the European Commission by November 2016 of the measures to be adopted.
But details on how Ireland will utilise this aid (which the Government can choose to match with up to 100% co-financing) have not yet been finalised, and are subject to ongoing consideration in consultation with EU and national stakeholders, said the Minister in the Dail.
He confirmed that availing of this aid is not conditional for farmers on participation in the voluntary milk supply management scheme which was introduced by the EU alongside the exceptional adjustment aid.
Portugal will use its new EU farmer aid envelope to give all its dairy farmers a payment per cow, for up to 20 cows, while Belgium’s Wallonia region will use some of its allocation to top up EU payments to producers who cut their milk output later this year.
Germany plans to use its envelope, doubled with national funds, to compensate dairy producers who freeze production.
The French government has already decided to match its EU funding allocation of €49.9m.
This week, IFA Dairy Chairman Sean O’Leary said the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed must show far greater urgency in matching funding and utilising the €11.1m EU aid package and the state aid concessions to support dairy farmers’ very badly stressed cash flows, after 27-month milk price slump.
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