Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill said today that the Executive’s emergency fodder aid would be available from midnight on Saturday 18 May.
Announcing the opening of the scheme, the Minister said: “I am conscious that many farmers face a crisis today. I am therefore keen to make this support aid available as early as possible. It will apply to all fodder shipped into the north of Ireland from Britain or other EU member states from midnight on Saturday, subject to certain conditions.”
The scheme will be operated by Countryside Services on behalf of the Ulster Farmers’ Union and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. It will provide a subsidy, based on a standard tonnage rate (or an equivalent rate per bale according to size) in respect of forage imported through Belfast, Larne and Warrenpoint where the Department’s Portal staff will certify the imports. The importer will require a completed receipt form from individual farmers who will acknowledge that they intend to use it to remedy a shortage in the immediate future.
The Minister concluded: “My objective is to increase the supply of feed in the north as quickly as possible. I want assistance to farmers to apply from Saturday midnight so that there is no risk of an interruption in supply of fodder. By taking immediate action, I hope to sustain local farmers who are suffering due to an unprecedented shortage of fodder. The scheme will initially operate until midnight on 31 May 2013, and I will be monitoring conditions closely in the hope that they improve.”
Any farmers who have any immediate queries about the scheme should refer to the Countryside Services website www.countrysiderural.co.uk from the morning of Saturday 18th May 2013. Further information will be available from Countryside Services on Monday 20th May on 028 87 789770.
List of Hauliers currently participating in the 2013 Fodder Transport Scheme who can be contacted directly are:
Harold Bothwell 07889 809193
Adrian Cathers 07899 967849
Richard Hawkes 07802 617172
Philip McCorry 07712 644885
Colin Newell 07779 600238
Sam Sloan 07802 698383
Other information relating to the scheme can be found on the Countryside Services website at www.countrysiderural.co.uk and from Monday 20 May 2013 on 028 877 89770.
List of Participating hauliers is correct at the time of going to Press.