A paltry 9 farmers apply for fodder subsidy

IFA President, Joe Healy ... ‘just too many loops.’
IFA President, Joe Healy ... ‘just too many loops.’

A REPORTED application list of just nine farmers is set to make the Fodder Transport Subsidy the biggest flop in the history of Dept. of Agriculture schemes.

A Department fear of an open-ended scheme turning out to be a massive drain on funds – prompting the need for a raft of preparatory paperwork – has been blamed for the ‘blacking’ of the scheme by West of Ireland farmers.

The nine applications are said to be spread across the three countries of Galway, Roscommon and Donegal – making it the most under-subscribed project in the history of Dept. of Agriculture schemes.

Earlier this month, IFA President, Joe Healy, said that there were ‘just too many hoops’ for farmers to jump through in order to access support such as the €100 lower limit for applicants and the 100km. distance requirement.

With land having dried up considerably last week, many farmers will now be hoping to get stock out of sheds but with the recent low temperatures and consequent cold soils, grass growth has been seriously stunted.  Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, said that right from the start, the scheme had been dogged by excessive paperwork and bureaucracy.

“The first thing any interested farmer had to do was to enlist the services of either a planner or a Teagasc adviser, so straight away there was a cost involved there.

“Then there was the €100 lower limit for applicants, the 100km distance requirement, and the whole raft of paperwork involved.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.