AGRICULTURE Minister Edwin Poots MLA has announced a financial support package worth up to £1.27million to sheep farmers who have been impacted by poor wool prices over the past year following the crash in the global market for wool as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Minister said: “Over the past year I have met with representatives of the sheep and wool sectors on a regular basis to discuss the impact of the pandemic on the global wool market and the resulting impact for local farmers.
“I recognise the financial impact that the downturn in the wool market has had on sheep farmers. To offset the losses incurred in their returns from wool sales, I am pleased to announce £1.27million support from the Covid-19 fund.
“This financial support will compensate for losses incurred and encourage farmers to value the wool that they produce as it is a sustainable natural product that has wonderful potential in many different product areas.”
When the scheme opens later this year, eligible farmers will be contacted and asked to complete a simple application form to claim their payments. Further details and explanatory information will be published on the DAERA website at that time.
The Minister added: “I am very pleased that over £19.6million has already been paid out by DAERA to local farm businesses impacted by the pandemic, and a further £4million will be paid to pig and poultry producers in the next few days. This financial support will be very helpful in these difficult times.”