UFU welcomes progress being made on weather hardship fund

Friday, 12 April, 2013

The Ulster Farmers’ Union have met with officials from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to discuss the development of the hardship fund, agreed by the Northern Ireland Executive, for farmers affected by the severe weather at the end of March. 

Speaking after the meeting UFU President Harry Sinclair said; “This was a very constructive meeting and following these discussions I believe that good progress is being made. We recognise that the number of stock collected via the fallen stock scheme is needed before the Hardship Scheme can be finalised. DARD have extended the deadline for this scheme until 19th April as a result of the slow thaw, meaning it will be after this date when we will have a final figure for the numbers of livestock collected. The hardship fund is also subject to approval by the Northern Ireland Executive but once this approval is obtained, I am confident that the scheme could be rolled out quickly and the associated payments soon thereafter. 

Harry continued; “The past few weeks have been incredibly hard for farmers. The commitments from the Northern Ireland Executive to cover the cost of fallen stock and to create a hardship fund have been welcome developments during this terrible experience. DARD was quick in organising the fallen stock scheme and collection and it is my hope that they will approach the delivery of the hardship fund in the same way.”