Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has, today (Monday, March 7th, 2022), announced details of the Pig Exceptional Payment Scheme (PEPS).
The exchequer funded scheme of €7 million:
- Provide support for commercial pig farmers in Ireland as an urgent short-term emergency response to the current market disturbance to avert potential welfare issues;
- Assist producers that would be viable but for the extreme current circumstances;
- Allow a more medium-term appropriate adjustment to market signals.
Who is eligible for the Pig Exceptional Payment Scheme?
This scheme is open to commercial pig farmers who have produced more than 200 pigs in the period January 1st, 2021 to December 31st, 2021 inclusive.
This includes pigs sent to slaughter, exported or sold commercially from a breeding herd.
Also, you must:
- Be eighteen years or over on the date of submission of the application for participation;
- Be the holder of an active herd number with herd owner status. Herd keeper is not acceptable.
- Have returned a completed National Pig Census 2021 to the Pig ID section of the DAFM.
Payment rates (number of pigs produced in 2021: payment in €):
- 1300 and above – €20,000;
- 1200 to 1300 – €18,000;
- 1100 to 1200 – €16,500;
- 1000 to 1100 – €15,000;
- 900 to 1000 – €13,500;
- 800 to 900 – €12,000;
- 700 to 800 – €10,500;
- 600 to 700 – €9,000;
- 500 to 600 – €7,500;
- 400 to 500 – €6,000;
- 300 to 400 – €4,500;
- 200 – 300 – €3,000
Opening and closing dates
The opening date for applications will be today, March 7th, 2022 and the closing date will be Sunday, March 20th, 2022.
Low prices and high input costs
When announcing the measure, Minister McConalogue described Irish pig farmers as “remarkably resilient”.
He stated that he is “acutely” aware of the “unprecedented” challenges they are facing at present.
He acknowledged that Irish pig farmers, alongside others across the EU, are currently facing a combination of low prices and “extraordinarily” high input costs.
The minister said: “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.”
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.”
Other supports for Irish pig farmers
Minister of State Martin Heydon T.D., who chairs the Pig Roundtable, said the scheme is part of a package of measures to support the sector, including:
- The finance instruments which the department co-funds through SBCI, particularly the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme;
- COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme, which farmers can use for working capital. It includes features that 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.”
He said that Teagasc has intensified its dedicated, ongoing advisory support to pig farmers.
Furthermore, he added that the state agency is “actively” engaging with pig farmers to explore the options potentially available to them.