Ireland to get €11m from new EU agri aid package

A €500m aid package for the EU agriculture sector, with particular emphasis on the crisis-hit dairy industry, was announced by Farm Commissioner Phil Hogan yesterday.

The package includes a €350m conditional adjustment aid measure to be implemented by member states — from which Ireland will receive €11.1m — and a €150m EU-wide measure to support voluntary reduction in milk production.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed welcomed the Commission’s two-pronged approach to dealing with the issue.

He said Ireland’s views in relation to supply management are well known. 

It did not want the package to be focused exclusively on production discipline, although there were strong demands for that from some member states.

The fact that 70% of the package has been directed to adjustment aid was very welcome, he said.

In relation to the use of these funds, he said he had argued strongly that the maximum possible flexibility needs to be given to members states.

“While we still await full details, which we will examine closely, the flexibility indicated by the Commissioner to provide liquidity support to farmers is welcome,” Mr Creed said.

He added he was pleased the Commission had responded to demands from Ireland and others by extending public intervention for skimmed milk powder and private storage aid schemes to February 2017.

The package also includes provision for advance payment of key farm support payments — up to 70% of direct payments and 85% for area-based rural development programme payments from October 16.


Lifestyle

Last week, I wrote about 'small is beautiful' as a key to an improved environment for all living things after this Covid crisis is finally over. As I wrote, I saw, in the mind's eye, the village where I live in west Cork and from which my wife and I are temporarily exiled.Damien Enright: Community spirit can ensure we pull through - together

Fifty years ago, a fox was spotted in Dublin’s St. Stephen’s Green. The unfortunate animal was chased by local ‘gurriers’. It took refuge in a tree but was promptly stoned to death.Richard Collins: Wildlife taking back the streets of our cities

The north pier on Cape Clear has been eerily quiet these last few months as no visitors disembark. The ferry is not unloading boatloads of tourists from Baltimore, 45 minutes away, or from Schull, as it would normally.The Islands of Ireland: Cape Clear tells its side of the story

If the Donegal postman and amateur weather forecaster has it right, we could be in for water shortages in the coming months. Michael Gallagher, who predicted the scorching summer of 2018 and the 2010 freeze-up, says we’ll have a ‘lovely’ summer.Donal Hickey: Demand for water to soar

More From The Irish Examiner