SHEEP farmers across the country last week began receiving their advance payment under the Sheep Welfare Scheme with the rate of the advance payment again set at 85%, the Dept. of Agriculture has confirmed.
The scheme – co-funded by the EU as part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme 2014/2020 – will involve the payment of €15.1 million to 18,600 sheep farmers across the country, working out on average at just over €800 per applicant.
Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, said that the payments would provide a significant financial boost to individual farmers and to the sheep sector in general.
“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,” said Minister Walsh.
He also urged any farmer with outstanding queries to respond to the Department immediately in order to facilitate payment. The Minister added that Year 3 of the scheme would be opening in the coming weeks with the Department due to 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.
The Sheep Welfare Scheme was launched in December 2016 and provides support of €10 per ewe to farmers for undertaking actions which would make a positive contribution to flock welfare.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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