COVID-19 Support Schemes

Some agricultural and horticultural businesses have incurred financial losses as a result of short term market disturbance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Support Schemes

Some agricultural businesses have incurred financial losses as a result of short term market disturbance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), in consultation with industry representatives and stakeholders, has examined the nature and extent of the financial losses that were incurred. There was clear acceptance of the need for support to be targeted at those farm businesses hardest hit financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April 2021, the Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots MLA, announced the following financial support packages for agricultural businesses affected by COVID-19:

  • Pig farmers who have been impacted by the collapse in prices for cull sows (worth up to £1.6 million);
  • Sheep farmers who have been impacted by poor wool prices (worth up to £1.2 million); and
  • Potato growers impacted by a reduction in demand from the hospitality and food service sector for processing potatoes (worth up to £2 million).

The schemes that have been developed are targeted towards those most in need and provide a contribution towards financial loss incurred. The qualifying amounts and payment rates applied to each farm business are evidence based, use data provided by the industry and information held by DAERA. Support will be distributed on an equitable basis, and is not based on location or on entire sectors.

The schemes are open from 9am on Wednesday 28th July and close at midnight on Thursday 12th August. Further information and details for each of the schemes can be found in each of the links below.

Potatoes

The target audience for the 2021 scheme will be those farmers growing potatoes for the processing supply chain including specialist seed producers on the 2020 certified seed list growing specific varieties. The eligibility criteria is found in the guide below.

What should I do now?

The 2021 COVID 19 Potato Support scheme opened on Wednesday 28th July 2021. The ‘Application Form’ is available in the link below. This will require applicants to demonstrate eligibility criteria, declare the tonnage of potatoes inspected and verified in store, and provide evidence of invoice based sales for potatoes sold as stock feed, starch production or to AD if between 1 March and date of DAERA inspection or by 31st July if no verification inspection took place. All information to be posted or hand delivered to Agri-food Support Branch, Dundonald House (address in application and guide) by 4pm, Wednesday 25th August 2021.

The scheme will close at midnight, Wednesday 18th August 2021.

Links:

If you need help or advice please email covid19.support@daera-ni.gov.uk or call 0300 200 7848.

Cull Sow

The DAERA Minister, Edwin Poots MLA, responded to concerns raised by industry stakeholders about the impact of Covid-19 on international pig meat markets that began in Spring 2020 and caused a dramatic fall in the prices paid for cull sows.

What should I do now?

The 2021 COVID-19 Cull Sow Support Scheme opens at 9am, Wednesday 28th July and close at midnight, Thursday 12th August 2021

Eligible farm businesses have been contacted by DAERA and asked to submit an online application via https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/services/daera-online-services. See links below for further information.

Links:

If you need any help or advice please contact by email DAERADirect.Strabane@daera-ni.gov.uk

Wool

The DAERA Minister, Edwin Poots MLA, responded to concerns raised by industry stakeholders about the impact of Covid-19 on international wool markets that began in Spring 2020 and affected sales from both the remainder of the 2019 and all of the 2020 wool clips.

What should I do now?

The 2021 COVID-19 Cull Sow Support Scheme opens at 9am, Wednesday 28th July and close at midnight, Thursday 12th August 2021.

Eligible farm businesses have been contacted by DAERA and asked to submit an online application via https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/services/daera-online-services. See links below for further information.

Links:

If you need any help or advice please contact  by email CSBHQ@daera-ni.gov.uk

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