Fine Gael Senator for Wexford, Michael D’Arcy, has said that Budget 2014 will protect the incomes of family farms, support small farm holdings in disadvantaged areas and invest in the future of the national suckler cow herd.
“I believe that the measures announced in Budget 2014 will safeguard family farm income and I am delighted by the €23 million extra funding for the suckler cow scheme. The income of farmers in disadvantaged areas has also been protected. That this has all been achieved despite the enormous budgetary pressure is highly commendable.
Suckler cow scheme increase
“The €23 million increase in the suckler cow scheme is a clear statement of the importance the Government places in the beef sector. This will be allocated towards the Beef Genomics Scheme and is a wise investment in the future of our national herd, which will benefit farmers in the short and long term. The suckler herd is the cornerstone of our beef industry which more than 100,000 farm families contribute to. The beef sector is responsible for employing almost 8,000 people in processing, sales and marketing, and driving exports valued at approximately €1.8 billion per annum."
Beef Genomics Scheme
“The Beef Genomics Scheme will provide suckler farmers with a payment of €40 per calf in return for which the farmer will be required to take samples from stock bulls and a selection of suckler cows for genotyping. This will help to accelerate the kind of genetic improvement that will drive efficiency and increase profitability at farm level. Together with the Beef Data Programme, this will provide for payments of up to €60 per calf in the suckler herd.
Disadvantaged Areas Scheme payments maintained
“I am delighted that the current level of payments under the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme has been maintained at €195 million despite the budgetary pressures that exist. The fact that the Grassland Sheep Scheme has been increased to €15 million makes it a good budget for farmers in disadvantaged areas.
Strong Government commitment to agri sector
“This Government is determined to further develop the agri-food sector which is one of the shining lights of the Irish economy. Budget 2014 will help to further contribute to the future growth and prosperity of the sector and will be welcomed by farmer families throughout the country.”