Emma Sheerin has welcomed Assembly support for a motion to include hill farmers in the £25 million Covid-19 Support Scheme.
The Mid Ulster MLA said the move was important in ensuring Northern Ireland’s 20,000 sheep and beef farmers were properly supported during the crisis.
“I welcome the support of the Assembly for our motion calling on the Agriculture Minister to properly fund our sheep and beef farmers through the £25m scheme,” she said.
“Our farmers are facing huge challenges as a result of the current health pandemic. The closure of hotels and restaurants has led to a reduction in demand and a collapse in prices.
“At the same time, the cost of feed and fertiliser has risen, applying more pressure to our food producers.
Ms Sheerin warned that beef and sheep farmers would be worst affected by the crisis and urged the Agriculture Minister to acknowledge this in the scheme.
“There are 20,000 beef and sheep farmers in the north, and it is they who will be hardest hit,” she said.
“As farmers face the prospect of Brexit and the severe weather, it is essential this funding should go where it is most needed.
“The Agriculture Minister must heed the wishes of the Assembly before any scheme is finalised.”
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