The Minster for Agriculture Michael Creed has been called on to expedite the balancing payments for farmers in GLAS to help alleviate cashflow difficulties on farms.

Some €170m has already been paid out to GLAS farmers, leaving 15% of the €30m allocated unpaid.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson for agriculture Charlie McConalogue said it was important the payment to 48,000 farmers, usually made in May following the completion of inspections, was brought forward.

“The farming sector is approaching a time of year when costs run high for farmers. Fertiliser has to be bought before cattle return to the grass. There are a number of other costs associated as we move into the summer season,” McConalogue said.

“Farmers are already running into cashflow problems. I am aware of credit being restricted by merchants due to concerns about the ability of farmers to repay short term credit given the global uncertainty due to the outbreak of coronavirus.”

EU supports

McConalogue also called on European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski to introduce a range of measures to support farmers and the agri-food sector.

“Intervention and aid to private storage measures need to be introduced without delay in order to stabilise meat and dairy prices over the coming weeks. We need substantive action from Europe and here at home from government,” he said.

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