A support package for pig farmers has been unveiled by the Northern Ireland Minister for Agriculture Edwin Poots.

The £1.6m in funding will be made available to approximately 185 farmers who experienced a drop in income as international pig markets dropped with disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is understood that the funds will be directed to those who sold cull sows to meat processors from May of last year.

“I am pleased that my Department has been able to once again secure £1.6m in support for those pig producers who have seen a significant fall in the price they received for cull sows from May 2020,” announced Minister Poots.

“I am hopeful that this funding will help and the 185 eligible pig producers will submit an application to offset their loss,” he stated.

Financial support

The scheme is the most recent in a string of support packages announced by the NI Minister for Agriculture in recent days and weeks.

A £1.2m scheme has been opened for sheep farmers whose wool sales were affected by poor international market conditions emerging as COVID-19 struck.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, over £23.5m has already been paid out by DAERA to local farm businesses impacted and this financial support has been very helpful in these difficult times,” the minister added.

Any eligible farmers who wish to avail of funding under the scheme can apply online here before the closing date of 12 August.