Minister Creed announced yesterday that sheep farmers are set to receive 85% advance payments under the Sheep welfare scheme.
The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine confirmed that payments under the welfare scheme will commence this week for farmers. It is estimated that over 20,000 farmers are awaiting payments, as part of the scheme launched last years.
The scheme provides €10 per ewe to farmers, to reward them for improving their flock's welfare. The scheme had farmers choose specific actions which would help improve their flock’s welfare, based on the area where they farm.
Minister Creed confirmed that in excess of €16 million will be issued to sheep farmers, as part of the scheme co-funded by the EU. Creed said the scheme and payments reflect the government’s commitment to Ireland’s sheep farmers. He said these payments will help improve the sustainability of the sheep sector.
"The scheme, which was a key commitment in the Programme for Partnership Government, reflects the commitment of the Government to the sheep sector in Ireland, and will make an important contribution to the sustainability of the sheep sector”. he said
Creed confirmed that advance payments will continue to be issued throughout November, with balancing payments due to be issued in 2018.
“Year two of the Scheme will be opening in the coming weeks and my Department will be in contact with farmers shortly to advise them of this. At that stage, there will also be an opportunity for new entrants to the sector to join the scheme,” he concluded.