BREEN urges Agriculture Minister to extend the date for works to be completed under the Farm Waste Management Scheme.

August 25th, 2008 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen is calling on the Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith to extend the date for works to be completed under the Farm Waste Management Scheme beyond the proposed 31st December 2008 closing date.

“The recent bad weather has put enormous strain on the farming community and coupled with the credit squeeze the reality is that a least 10% of farmers who have applied for the Scheme will not have their works completed by the 31st December 2008. Up to 40,000 farmers nationally have applied for the scheme that means that at least 10,000 farmers will not meet the deadline. A recent IFA survey identified the lack of availability of builders, difficulty in raising finance and the timescale for the completion of the work being too tight, as the main reasons as to why some farmers will not meet the target date and the Agricultural Minister cannot just put his head in the sand and ignore the difficulties.”

 

“The Farm Waste Management Scheme was introduced to assist farmers meet new requirements under the European Communities (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2005 (S.I No. 788 of 2005). Grant-aid is provided for the collection and storage of animal excreta, soiled water and other farmyard manures and related facilities, together with new equipment for the application of same to farmland. The Scheme is co-funded by the Government and the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund of the European Union.”

 

“The current scheme has been highly successful and was a big boost to the construction sector with a huge amount of work still under construction failure to extend the date will lead to further unemployment in the construction sector already under pressure. The various suppliers of slatted sheds, building materials etc will also bear the brunt of the situation.”

 

“I would urge Minister Smith to ease the pressure on the farming community by announcing an extension to the closing date now, payment of many grants will come out of next years estimates, many farmers will not have their inspections completed until well into the spring, so there is no reason why the date cannot be extended.”