Pig farmers in Northern Ireland will get financial support from the agri food sector’s COVID-19 fund, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has confirmed.

It stems from Cranswick Country Foods’ pig processing factory closing for a two-week period in late August due to coronavirus cases among staff.

Local pork producers faced delays in getting pigs slaughtered and prices also took a hit once the Cullybackey site recommenced processing.

“I recognise the financial impact that the temporary closure of this processing plant had on these farmers' businesses and I am willing to offer some government support to offset the losses incurred,” Minister Poots said.

“Further details of the scheme will be announced in the next few weeks, but payments should not be anticipated until early in 2021,” he added.

The scheme will be funded from leftover money from the £25m coronavirus support package which was put up by the Stormont Executive earlier this year.

DAERA added a further £3.6m to the budget and £21.3m was initially allocated to schemes for the dairy, beef, sheep, potato, and ornamental horticulture sectors.

It meant that around £7m was leftover for further support later in the pandemic if required.