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O’Neill launches fodder aid

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill said today that the Executive’s emergency fodder aid would be available from midnight on Saturday 18 May.
Friday, 17 May 2013

Announcing the opening of the scheme, the Minister said: “I am conscious that many farmers face a crisis today. I am therefore keen to make this support aid available as early as possible. It will apply to all fodder shipped into the north of Ireland from Britain or other EU member states from midnight on Saturday, subject to certain conditions.”

The scheme will be operated by Countryside Services on behalf of the Ulster Farmers’ Union and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. It will provide a subsidy, based on a standard tonnage rate (or an equivalent rate per bale according to size) in respect of forage imported through Belfast, Larne and Warrenpoint where the Department’s Portal staff will certify the imports. The importer will require a completed receipt form from individual farmers who will acknowledge that they intend to use it to remedy a shortage in the immediate future.

The Minister concluded: “My objective is to increase the supply of feed in the north as quickly as possible. I want assistance to farmers to apply from Saturday midnight so that there is no risk of an interruption in supply of fodder. By taking immediate action, I hope to sustain local farmers who are suffering due to an unprecedented shortage of fodder. The scheme will initially operate until midnight on 31 May 2013, and I will be monitoring conditions closely in the hope that they improve.”

Any farmers who have any immediate queries about the scheme should refer to the Countryside Services website from the morning of Saturday 18 May 2013. Further information will be available from Countryside Services on Monday 20 May on 028 87 789770.

Notes to Editors:

  1. List of Hauliers currently participating in the 2013 Fodder Transport Scheme who can be contacted directly are:
    Harold Bothwell 07889 809193
           Adrian Cathers 07899 967849
           Richard Hawkes 07802 617172
           Philip McCorry 07712 644885
           Colin Newell 07779 600238
           Sam Sloan 07802 698383
           Other information relating to the scheme can be found on the Countryside Services website and from Monday 20 May 2013 on                028 877 89770.
           List of Participating hauliers is correct at the time of going to Press.
  2. For media enquiries please contact DARD Press Office 028 9052 4619 or email: pressoffice.group@dardni.gov.uk Out of hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.