Pig farmers will be able to apply for up to €70,000 under a second aid package for the sector which the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue is bringing to cabinet this Wednesday.

The package, worth up to €16m, falls short of the €100m rescue proposal which had been sent to the Minister by the IFA, Meat Industry Ireland and the Irish Grain and Feed Association.

The support will be in the form of a grant and farmers will not have to repay the aid monies.

It is understood it will operate in a similar way to the first aid package which was worth €7m (up to €20,000 per farmer) whereby the number of sows dictated the level of payment.

There is in the region of 300 pig farmers in the country and the sector has been hit with serious financial losses in recent months as a result of low pig prices and high feed and energy costs.

Horticulture package

Under the same package, the Minister is also seeking cabinet approval for a €3m fund for horticulture and vegetable growers.

High wire growers, such as cucumber and tomatoes farmers, as well as field vegetable, mushroom and apple growers will also be able to apply for the support.

There are no details on this scheme yet as to the level of payment per farmer.


It is understood that funding for the pig and horticulture package will come from the €15.8m in EU crisis reserve funding Ireland is to receive for farmers and that further funding supports for livestock have not been ruled out yet.

Ireland can co-finance the fund by 200% which would bring the fund up to almost €48m. However, no decision has been made by Government yet on whether it will match the funding.