Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Questions (181)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

181. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the extent to which he has evaluated the impact of the fodder shortage on the farming sector in all regions throughout the country; the extent to which it has been possible to make available emergency supplies; the extent to which the provisions to date in this regard have been sufficient; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21789/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The fodder issue is something that my Department has been monitoring and dealing with for months at this stage. To help alleviate the difficulties being encountered by farmers, I established the €1 million Transport Fodder Scheme. Since the scheme was announced over 900 loads of fodder have been received or ordered. I am satisfied that this volume of imports is making a real difference on farms and assisting farmers through the fodder shortage. More recently I announced an extension in the duration of the Imported Fodder Transport Scheme to Friday 10th May, and a broadening of its scope to include maize silage. All fodder ordered in advance of that date will be supported by this scheme. The amounts of such supplies will require notification to my Department prior to 10th May and approval for coverage under the scheme.

My Department is evaluating the current fodder situation on an ongoing basis. As changes can and do occur on an almost daily basis, adjustments are made as and when they are required.