Minister for Rural Affairs Seán Canney has welcomed the expansion of the Calf Investment Scheme as an important support for farmers during the Covid-19 crisis.
The budget for the scheme which directly funds around 2,500 farmers, has been increased from €1.5 million to €4 million, to fully fund all eligible applications received.
Minister Canney said; “This was an essential measure to support our farmers at a time when they were already under pressure as a result of Brexit. Supporting calf rearing and welfare facilities is part of a suite of measures recently announced by the Department of Agriculture. Improvements have also been made to the inspections process for farm payments with inspections cancelled up to May 5. This should have no impact on payments.
“BVD tagging and testing of calves will continue as normal with farm organisations offering assistance where farmers are unable to submit samples, while regulations for TB testing have been made more flexible. Transport of animals and use of knackeries are deemed essential services and are not affected by Covid-19 regulations, while limited mart operations are continuing with restrictions and guidelines.
“These are sensible practical responses to the crisis we are all facing. It is vital that we continue to offer as much support as possible to the farmers and producers who are critical to our food supply chain.”