Commitment from Minister on sheep support positive – IFA

IFA National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey said the recent announcement by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney committing to a specific new support programme for the sheep sector is positive.

  He said IFA is campaigning hard for a new €20 per ewe targeted support for sheep farmers and has made this a priority issue in the current General Election campaign.

  The IFA sheep farmers’ leader said the Association will continue to push the case strongly for €20 per ewe. He said the Minister suggested support could be linked to a genomic type scheme like the BDGP for sucklers, and IFA is insisting that support for sheep must be worthwhile, targeted, widely available and cannot be tied up with unnecessary bureaucracy.

  Mr. Lynskey said at a meeting with IFA late last year, Minister Coveney accepted that sheep farming is a low-income sector and needs ongoing direct support.

  He said: “IFA put a strong case to the Minister that to maintain and grow the sheep sector there is a need for increased targeted direct support and IFA is seeking a payment of €20 per ewe”.

  IFA made a detailed presentation and submission to the Dáil Agriculture Committee last October and secured unanimous support for the proposal to increase support to the sheep sector.