An extended housing period is expected after Storm Emma. \ Philip Doyle
The ICSA has stated that it has received assurances from Department of Agriculture officials that the Fodder Transport Support Measure introduced by Minister Michael Creed at the end of January will be simplified.
The scheme is difficult to navigate as has been evidenced in the low take up
Following a meeting between the ICSA and Department officials in Backweston, the ICSA Connaught/Ulster VP Jim Harrison said: “ICSA has received an assurance from the Department that elements of the scheme will now be revisited with a view to making the scheme more user-friendly.”
To date co-ops have reported an extremely low uptake in the fodder scheme, and only two official submissions have been made to the Department for compensation.
Last year, over 400 farmers in the north and northwest stated that they were short on fodder to some extent following an unseasonable wet summer in the region.
The scheme has been mired in controversy, as the ICSA uncovered that only certain counties were eligible for the scheme.
ICSA Cavan chairman Hugh Farrell said: “It has become blatantly apparent that the scheme is difficult to navigate as has been evidenced in the low take up to date.
“This message has now been taken on board by the Department who will assess where changes can be made in order to make the scheme more workable.”
Farrell concluded by urging farmers to complete fodder budgets and submit them to their agricultural advisors to make the Department aware of the growing demand for fodder following Storm Emma, which has resulted in an extended housing period.
This week, Agri Aware launched its new 'Many Hats, One CAP' TV and cinema advert.
Produced by Traction Marketing, the advert is part of a wider campaign which aims to promote and showcase how the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) affects everyday life in Ireland, whether that is subsidies paid to a farmer directly or the countless indirect knock-ons that keep rural Ireland alive.
The launch took place at Movies Dundrum, Dublin, on Thursday evening, where both the full and short versions of the advert where premiered for the first time on screen.
The ad itself follows a day in the life of a number of characters who make up the rural landscape in Ireland.
From clips of rural entrepreneur and chef Edward Hayden cooking up a storm in his Graiguenamanagh cookery school, to farmer Kevin Moran up before dawn in Galway to milk his dairy herd, it gives viewers a glimpse into the role the agri-food industry plays.
Agriculture is a huge economic multiplier, which keeps rural Ireland alive
At the premiere, there was a panel of guest speakers which included Agri Aware chair Alan Jagoe and three of the stars in the ad; Hayden, Moran and Teagasc researcher Dr Dayle Johnston.
Hosted by Marty Morrissey, the panel reiterated the point that agriculture is a huge economic multiplier, which keeps rural Ireland alive, and the CAP is central to that.
Alan Jagoe spoke of the huge work, time and spend going behind the campaign.
“It costs money to put it out there, but consumers and society need to know where their money is going and who they are supporting.
"There needs to be an understanding and respect for the production costs and efforts that go into food production,” he stressed.
2016 FBD young farmer of the year Kevin Moran made the point that CAP itself “is not just one thing – a subsidy for a farmer - it is much more than that; it’s an investment in food security, an investment in rural economies and this investment is invaluable to rural Ireland”.
'Many Hats, One CAP' is a 12-month public information campaign that will go live across TV, radio, cinema, social media and print over the coming weeks.