There has been no final decision made on whether a voluntary dairy cow reduction scheme will open to farmers in 2024, according to Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.
The Minister claimed that farmer appetite for the opening of a cow scrappage scheme remains low, when he spoke to the Irish Farmers Journal at the National Ploughing Championships on Tuesday.
He said that the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) has been the only farming organisation to come forward and back the voluntary dairy cow reduction scheme proposed by the Food Vision dairy group last year.
“There is one of the many farm organisations that we have which have indicated support for such scheme, all other organisations have been very much against it,” Minister McConalogue stated.
“I haven’t made a final decision on that myself yet. I am considering and reflecting on the various submissions that I received on the issue, but, to be clear, in terms of the farm representative organisations that represent the views of farmers, only one of those organisations have indicated any support for it.”
Earlier this year, Minister McConalogue told the Oireachtas environment committee that if a dairy reduction scheme will be opened in 2024, the details of the scheme would be clarified by the end of September.
ICMSA president Pat McCormack said that farmers need clarity on whether a cow reduction scheme will go ahead or be taken off the table. He was also speaking at the National Ploughing Championships.
“Certainty needs to be brought to the table in this regard and if there isn’t a fund put in place or a budget put in place on budget day, well then in my view it is not going to be a runner in 2024,” McCormack commented.
“Will it be a runner thereafter? That’s very questionable; the Minister needs to come up to the table with an independent fund and if he doesn’t, the scheme is dead.
“It’s no good going on with greater detail on a scheme if there’s no budget there to match it," he told the Irish Farmers Journal.