Farmers across Northern Ireland will receive their direct payments, in full, on September 1st, 2022.
That is what Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Edwin Poots, MLA, told attendees at the 153rd Balmoral Show at the Eikon Centre in Lisburn earlier today (Thursday, May 12th, 2022).
Minister Poots said this would help farmers with cash-flow issues caused by market disturbances.
In his speech at the DAERA breakfast earlier this morning, he acknowledged that the past twenty-four months have been “incredibly challenging”.
He thanked all stakeholders for their engagement and continued support throughout this period.
War and input prices
He said the most concerning challenge is the “worsening” humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
“I very much hope that a resolution can be found as soon as possible. However, the effects are not short term,” he told attendees.
“Ukraine and Russia are major players in the world market. Northern Ireland producers are facing an unprecedented rise in input costs. Feed, fertiliser and fuel are rising by 30%, 200% and 50%, respectively. Farm businesses cannot simply absorb this.”
“This ultimately undermines confidence throughout the industry and will lead to a contraction in production due to mounting losses if the situation is not corrected very soon.”
Therefore, the minister has penned a letter to DEFRA Secretary of State George Eustice to “urgently” consider a range of measures.
Poots revealed that this also includes financial assistance for UK farmers to support them through this crisis.
He said he would raise these issues on Monday at a meeting with all the UK Agriculture Ministers.
Continuing, the minister said:
“The past two years have demonstrated how, through partnership working, we can meet many challenges.”
“I have every confidence that, with the same vigour and determination already demonstrated, we can succeed in the future.
He revealed that he is committed to continuing to work in partnership with all stakeholders to address challenges.
“I am looking forward to continuing to work on strategies and policies that are vitally important to the sustainability of our agriculture, environment, and rural sectors.”
“I want to thank everyone for their ongoing support in our vision of sustainability at the heart of a living, working, active landscape valued by everyone,” he concluded.
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