A new aid package for the EU Agriculture sector, with particular emphasis on the dairy sector, has been agreed at €500m on an EU wide basis. Ireland is to receive €11.1m million in the package which is great news for Galway’s dairy farmers.
The way the overall package is structured is also very beneficial to the Irish dairy sector. €350 million is for a conditional adjustment aid measure to be implemented by EU Member States, while €150 million is for an EU wide measure to support voluntary reduction in milk production. Despite strong pressure from other Member States, Ireland’s views in relation to supply management are well known, and we did not want this package to be focused exclusively on production discipline.
It is also extremely positive that the Commission has responded to demands from Ireland and others by the extension of public intervention for Skimmed Milk Powder and private storage aid schemes to February 2017. This is a good deal for Irish dairy farmers.
This EU aid package also includes provision for advance payment of key farm support payments which will be really beneficial for Galway’s dairy farmers. I have heard from many local dairy farmers about the liquidity issues they are experiencing, and so the payment of up to 70% of direct payments and 85% for area based RDP payments from October 16th of this year, will provide further relief.