Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has announced the introduction of a financial support package for potato growers impacted by a reduction in demand from the hospitality and food service sector for processing potatoes in the past seven months, due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
The Minister explained: “I met recently with representatives of potato farmers to hear about the impact a prolonged period of lockdown due to Covid-19 has had on their businesses. The market for processing potatoes has been negatively impacted since October, and the only option for many growers at this stage in the season is to sell their potatoes for livestock feed at significantly reduced prices. The support will be a contribution towards the verifiable losses incurred by these farmers for the second year in a succession. It will help to address the cash flow difficulties and financial impact of losing valuable markets, and sustain their businesses.”
Over 11,500 farmers and growers have already benefited from almost £23.5million made available by DAERA as a contribution to offset the losses incurred by the pandemic.
According to farminglife.com, further details of the scheme will be announced in May and explanatory information will be published on the DAERA website at that time.