Farmers will receive extra State payments to grow crops on their land under a series of extraordinary measures being considered by Government to counteract the economic and financial impact of the Ukrainian crisis.
Emergency plans to house up to 80,000 Ukrainian refugees, which could involve constructing modular homes on State land such as the Curragh, are being drawn up with officials from the Department of Children working throughout the weekend with several hundred hotels being acquired from next week.
With thousands of families now expected to arrive here, the Department of Education is working on meeting the demand for extra school places, while psychological supports and counselling are also being looked at.
Meanwhile, a reduction in excise and an increase in the hauliers' fuel rebate is on the cards to help ease soaring petrol, diesel and home heating costs.
The Department of Finance has been asked to draft options in relation to excise and ministers Michael McGrath, Paschal Donohoe, and Eamon Ryan will meet early this week to discuss the plan.
However, senior sources said the Government will wait until an EU white paper on energy prices is published as member states are keen to act in unison on the matter.
The plan to get farmers growing wheat and other crops would signal a significant shift in farming practices in the country, with beef farmers being encouraged to grow small amounts of grain for their own on-farm consumption, while the thousands of farmers who have got out of tillage in recent years will be encouraged to return to growing crops.
Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue has assembled a rapid response team in relation to this and will meeting farmer organisations on Tuesday after Cabinet.
“We are in very challenging times and farmers will certainly play our part in any national or European effort,” he said.