A Waterford TD has called for the introduction of a low interest loan scheme for farmers affected by the ongoing fodder crisis.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed is to attend a meeting of the The Oireachtas Agriculture Committee later today, to explain what steps his department will be taking to tackle the issue.
Fianna Fail’s Mary Butler says farmers affected by the crisis need to have credit made available to them.
She says the actual cost of buying fodder has not been addressed by the Government. The vast majority of farmers do not have the cash flow at present to pay the upfront costs of additional fodder and concentrates.
In addition to fodder costs, farmers are purchasing concentrates to beef up the fodder to ensure that milk and beef quality is maintained.
The Government should make available to affected farmers low-interest loans to allow them purchase the fodder they need to feed their animals.
It has been estimated that many farmers are forking out an additional €1000 per week just to keep their animals fed.
The banks involved in this loan scheme must also be told not to make farmers jump through any unnecessary hoops when applying for these loans.