Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and Minister of State Martin Heydon have met with representatives from the country’s main banks to discuss the financial situation facing pig farmers.

The two ministers met with AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank to emphasise the importance of the pig industry to the Irish economy and the necessity of access to credit to support the sector through its current downturn.

The main message that came from the meeting was that farmers experiencing financial difficulties should contact their bank and establish dialogue as early as possible.

Longstanding relationship

The banks said that they have a longstanding relationship with the pig sector and that outlined the availability of financial supports, according to the Department of Agriculture.

The ministers also met separately with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) to have a dialogue on the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme and the COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme.

These schemes include measures to finance working capital and the Department has said that there are some elements of each scheme that may be of use to pig farmers.