The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD, has announced that 85% advance payments under new Sheep Welfare Scheme are commencing on time this week to all eligible farmers.
The Scheme is co-funded by the European Union as part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme, 2014-2020.
Minister Creed indicated that: “A total of €16 million will now issue to some 20,000 farmers, providing a significant financial boost to the individual farmers and the sheep sector in general”.
The Minister added: “the scheme, which was a key commitment in the Programme for Partnership Government, reflects the commitment of the Government to the sheep sector in Ireland, and will make an important contribution to the sustainability of the sheep sector”.
Minister Creed urged any farmers with outstanding queries to respond to the Department immediately in order to facilitate payment. Advance payments will continue to issue in November as eligibility is confirmed for farmers with outstanding queries, and balancing payments are due to issue in 2018.
The Minister concluded: “Year two of the Scheme will be opening in the coming weeks and my Department will be in contact with farmers shortly to advise them of this. At that stage, there will also be an opportunity for new entrants to the sector to join the scheme.”