The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, announced the opening of applications for the Pig Exceptional Payment Scheme (PEPS), an exchequer funded scheme of €7 million to support commercial pig farmers in Ireland.
In announcing the measure Minister McConalogue said, “as I have consistently stated, our pig farmers are remarkably resilient, but I am acutely aware of the unprecedented challenges they are facing at present. Irish pig farmers, alongside others across the EU, are currently facing a combination of low prices and extraordinarily high input costs. This is why I have moved to put the Pig Exceptional Payment Scheme in place and I am thankful to my cabinet colleagues for approving the funding.”
“Both Minister Heydon and I have met with the IFA national pigs committee as well as members of the pillar banks and the SBCI as a way of supporting this crucial sector. We will continue to closely engage with the sector, pig farmers and their families in the time ahead.”
This scheme is open to commercial pig farmers who have produced more than 200 pigs in the period 1st January 2021 to 31st December 2021 inclusive. This includes pigs sent to slaughter, exported or sold commercially from a breeding herd.
Minister McConalogue said, “the scheme is an urgent emergency response to allow pig farmers to plan for an adjustment to the new market situation. We will seek to issue payments as rapidly as possible.”
Minister of State Martin Heydon TD, who chairs the Pig Roundtable, added, “this scheme is part of a package of measures to support the sector, including: the finance instruments co-funded by my Department through SBCI, particularly the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme and the COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme, which can be used for working capital and include features which will assist the current financial needs of pig farmers.”
“Intensified efforts by Bord Bia to promote quality assured Irish pigmeat in the domestic and export markets with dedicated media advertising campaigns underway nationally, as well as EU-funded pigmeat promotion programmes running in key export markets. Teagasc has intensified its dedicated, ongoing advisory supports being provided to pig farmers and is actively engaging with pig farmers to explore the options potentially available to them.”
The opening date for applications will be today, 7th March 2022 and the closing date will be Sunday 20th March 2022.