Pig payment scheme opens for applications

The Agriculture Minister has announced the Pig Exceptional Payment Scheme 2 has opened for applications.

Farmers in the sector have been highlighting pressures they are facing in recent months, with calls for support for the struggling industry.

€13 million is being made available through the fund. The aim is to support farmers struggling with price fluctuations in recent months.

The Department of Agriculture says it is funded through "Ireland’s EU funds allocation for exceptional adjustment aid to producers in agricultural sectors which have been impacted by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine".

Announcing the scheme today, Minister Charlie McConalogue said: “Our pig farmers are remarkably resilient, but I am acutely aware of the unprecedented challenges they are facing at present. Irish pig farmers, alongside others across the EU, are currently facing a combination of low prices and extraordinarily high input costs.

"This is why I have targeted €13 million of the €15.8 million EU exceptional aid allocation to support the viability of this important sector. The scheme will assist pig farmers to make the necessary adjustment to the new market situation and support them as much as possible through this period of major disruption."

Minister of State Martin Heydon, who chairs the Pig Roundtable, added: “This scheme is part of a package of measures to support the sector, including: the finance instruments co-funded by my Department through SBCI, Intensified efforts by Bord Bia to promote quality assured Irish pigmeat in the domestic and export markets, and Teagasc dedicated, ongoing advisory supports."

This scheme is open to commercial pig farmers who have produced more than 200 pigs in the period January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021 inclusive, who are able to meet the eligibility conditions and commit to the conditionality.

Payment to each successful applicant will be based on a graduated payment structure depending on the number of pigs slaughtered, exported or sold in the nominated herd during the reference period. A maximum pay rate of €100,000 will apply.

The opening date for applications will be today, June 13, 2022 and the closing date will be July 11, 2022.