A €100,000 feasibility study on the wool market has been allocated in Budget 2021, Minister of State with responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity Pippa Hackett confirmed.
The ICSA has said it believes the feasibility study on the wool market must focus on the potential for wool to contribute to the green economy and on delivering a return to sheep farmers for their supply.
ICSA sheep chair Sean McNamara has said: “Work undertaken so far has revealed there is massive scope to revitalise the entire wool industry here.
“There are a wealth of uses for wool which span across a whole range of sectors, and the priority now must be capturing that potential. It is time for wool to take its place as a valued and valuable natural resource.”
The ICSA has also welcomed clarity around the continuation of the Sheep Welfare Scheme but said the lack of an increase in the rate of payment was disappointing.
“ICSA believes the scheme does need considerable new investment and will continue to lobby for a €30/head sheep payment in the next round of CAP,” McNamara said.
Similarly, IFA national sheep committee chairman Sean Dennehy said sheep farmers are disappointed the budget did not provide an increase to the Sheep Welfare Scheme.
Dennehy said: “Commitments given by Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin at the IFA AGM earlier this year of a €5 increase in payments has not been provided in the budget.
“The Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue must support the sector directly and through amendments to existing schemes to ensure generational renewal within the sector.”
The IFA has said meaningful levels of direct supports are necessary and the campaign for €30/ewe continues.