Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon is warning the Agriculture Minister not to delay on the low cost loan scheme for farmers, which was promised earlier this year.

There have been reports in recent weeks that farmers may not be able to draw down the money before 2019.

“The Government must immediately open the €25 million low cost Brexit loan scheme for farmers and fishermen as announced in October 2017. Farmers’ cash flow is already under severe pressure and low-cost credit is critical to helping them survive. Additional funds for this scheme must also be announced in the Budget 2019 statement in October”, said Deputy Scanlon.

“Farmers across Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal and Roscommon have just come through one of the most difficult years in recent memory.  The extremely wet winter, followed by the unusually dry summer has resulted in adverse growing conditions, which has had a serious impact on crop and livestock yields.  There are now genuine concerns that there will be another fodder shortage this winter.

“Farmers are already experiencing severe cash flow problems and they need a break.  The low cost loan scheme was due to be rolled out in the second half of this year, but recent reports claim that it may be next year before farmers will get access to money.  This will be a major issue as farmers need the funds now to get them through the winter.

“We need clarity on this and I am calling on Minister Creed to explain when this loan scheme will open and when the funds can be drawn down”.