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Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots MLA has announced a financial support package worth up to £2million for pig farmers who have been impacted by the collapse in prices for cull sows in the last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Minister announced the £2m cull sow support scheme, explaining that: “I met recently with representatives of pig farmers to hear about the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on their businesses. Local pig farmers are dependent on export markets in Europe and China to return value in the sale price of their culls sows. These markets have been significantly depressed in the past year but now there seems to be some signs of recovery and prices are improving again.”

The Minister added: “This support will be a contribution towards the losses incurred by these farmers in the past year. It will help to address the cash flow difficulties and financial impact of low cull sows prices on the sustainability of their business.”

When the scheme opens later this year, eligible farmers will be contacted and asked to complete a simple application form to claim their payments. Further details and explanatory information will be published on the DAERA website at that time.