Discussions are being held between Teagasc and State officials on the possibility of introducing measures which could mitigate pig farmer income volatility, Teagasc’s director Frank O’Mara told farmers this week. O’Mara suggested that introducing measures which have a “dampening” effect on the ups and downs of the pig sector could help cushion the blow to farm incomes during times of negative margins, such as in 2022, when losses mounted as pig prices could not cover costs.


“This idea of having some sort of dampening or insurance effect is something that would, I think, be of huge value to the pig industry,” O’Mara said at the Teagasc national pig conference in Cavan on Tuesday.

“And my colleagues are in discussion with the Department of Agriculture and the [National Treasury Management Agency] about is there some way we can put some kind of a system to help us save for the rainy day when the times are good so when the bad day comes, we are able to cope with it that little bit better.”

A return to profitability in 2023 has allowed pig farmers to begin repaying debt of hundreds of thousands of euros accumulated since margins went into the red.

Next year

“We anticipate that it will take until about July of next year for the losses sustained in the down period to be recovered, so hopefully the margin will continue beyond that,” the Teagasc director added.