Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) farm business chair Rose Mary McDonagh has called on the Government to provide a low-cost finance scheme for farmers in Budget 2022.

“This low-cost finance should be distributed through the main banking and finance providers and made available to all farmers," she said.

“Unsecured, low-cost finance that is readily available, is essential for farmers to efficiently fund infrastructural investments on their farms.

“Additional nitrates regulations alone are likely to result in a significant additional investment ask of farmers, both in slurry storage and low emissions slurry spreading equipment.

“Access to unsecured, low-cost finance over a minimum of six years is imperative to allow farmers to fund these investments,” McDonagh added.

“Increasing regulations and requirements on farmers brings a significant cost. This cost will not result in direct productivity gains or any immediate return on investment for individual farmers.

“Therefore, it’s vital that this investment can be completed with minimal cost to farmers."