Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Joint Oireachtas Committee

I was elected to this committee in 2016 and participate in specialised parliamentary work, taking evidence from interest groups, meet witnesses, and invite Department officials to discuss specific issues of interest to Ireland’s agri-food sector and fisheries industry.

You can find out more about the work of the Committee here: www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/oireachtasbusiness/committees_list/agriculturefoodandthemarine/

27th March 2017 Comments are off admin_exsite
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New low cost loan scheme will help Cork farmers deal with Brexit challenge

Cork based Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, has said that a newly launched low cost loan scheme will be extremely beneficial for farmers in Cork, particularly to help them mitigate against the impact of Brexit. The ‘Agri Cashflow Support Loan Scheme’, which was developed in co-operation with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), was launched by Fine Gael Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed today (Tuesday).

“My Fine Gael colleague, Minister Michael Creed, has launched the Government’s new low cost agriculture loan scheme. This is going to be really beneficial to farmers here in Cork who are looking for income stability in a period of price volatility due to Brexit. Cork farmers will be able to avail of low-cost interest rate loans of 2.95%, which represents excellent value compared to market rates.

“A major priority for Fine Gael in Government is to assist farmers in mitigating against the impact of Brexit. I know from talking to local farmers that some of them are experiencing cashflow difficulties due to recent changes in the sterling exchange rate, as well as lower commodity prices in certain sectors.

“Minister Creed has a ‘three pillar strategy’ in response to income volatility and pressures caused by the uncertainty around Brexit, including this low cost loan scheme, tax measures and farm payments.

“Cork farmers will be pleased to hear that as well as being good value, these loans will be flexible, with the possibility of optional interest only repayments at the start of the loan. Six year loan terms will be available.

“This loan scheme will allow farmers here in Cork to pay down more expensive forms of short-term debt, such as merchant credit or overdrafts, contributing to the ongoing financial sustainability of their farming enterprise.

“AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank will distribute the loans, making €150 million available to farmers throughout Ireland. This is supported by €25 million being provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, including €11 million in EU exceptional adjustment aid.”

31 January 2017

27th March 2017 Comments are off admin_exsite
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New TAMS II measure will help tillage farmers to modernise and cut costs

The new and specialised Tillage Measure under TAMS II is going to help Cork tillage farmers to modernise and cut costs Cork Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, has said.

“The newly launched and specialised Tillage Measure, worth approximately €26 million, is the seventh of a suite of measures available to farmers under TAMS II. I know from talking to tillage farmers here in Cork that many of them were disadvantaged by the poor harvest last year. Minister Creed is all too aware of this thanks to the Tillage Stakeholder Forum.

“This new initiative includes capital investment measures which will support tillage farmers to use the most modern and efficient equipment and facilities. Specific areas of investment include Minimum Disturbance Tillage Equipment, Sprayers, Rain Water Harvesting, Grain Storage and Grain dryers.

“I encourage all Cork tillage farmers to examine the provisions of TAMS II and this new measure to improve efficiency and cut costs. Applications must be made on-line, either by the farmer or by their authorised Advisor. Further details are available at: http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmerschemespayments/tams/

“The closing date for applications under the first tranche of the new measure will be Friday 30 June 2017.”

Note: the Targeted Modernisation Scheme (TAMS II) is part of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and is co-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

09 March 2017

27th March 2017 Comments are off admin_exsite
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44 additional Rural Social Scheme places for Cork

Cork Senator and member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Tim Lombard, has welcomed the addition of 500 Rural Social Scheme places.

“This is the first increase since 2006, bringing the total national number up to 3,100, and there are a number of RSS implementing bodies in Cork receiving a total of 44 additional places. This is a welcome expansion for our largely rural and coastal county.

“The RSS is aimed at supporting low-income farmers and fishermen/women by boosting social welfare payments for participation in providing services which benefit local communities. Involvement in the scheme is voluntary and dependent on the local vacancies available. Participants provide 19.5 hours a week in services to a local rural or community project, and in return they receive a top-up on their social welfare payments as well as an opportunity to develop new skills.

“This scheme provides critical assistance for our communities, supports countless sports clubs, amenities and rural facilities. Given the benefits of the scheme, both for those taking part and the local community, I would strongly encourage all eligible to apply.

“With the continued economic recovery, Fine Gael is determined to ensure that the benefits of this are experienced in every community across Ireland, thus I am delighted to see the expansion scheme here in Cork.”

21 January 2017