Written Answers. - Fodder Relief Scheme.

John Perry


340 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will include additional district electoral divisions in County Sligo in the fodder relief scheme in view of the further financial burden on many farmers as a result of the recent storms and in further view of the fact they were not insured; if his attention has been drawn to the devastation caused; if he will reconsider his decision and include the excluded area and herd numbers (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1420/99]

Michael Creed


386 Mr. Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will review the operation of the fodder scheme to ensure that all farmers who have a fodder shortage as a result of the adverse weather conditions in the summer of 1998 can benefit under the scheme; and if arrangements will be made to include a person (details supplied) in County Cork in the existing scheme in view of the fact the majority of the animals which he holds under his herd number are maintained on rented land in an area which already is included under the scheme. [1671/99]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 340 and 386 together.

The funds available for the 1998 fodder scheme have been committed. However, arising from discussions at the Government meeting earlier this week, my Department and the Department of Finance have already entered into discussions to devise a suitably targeted scheme to assist farmers who are experiencing severe difficulty due to scarcity of fodder. The matter is being pursued with urgency.