McGlone welcomes £21.4m COVID-19 support scheme

SDLP Agriculture and Rural Affairs Spokesperson, Patsy McGlone MLA has welcomed the opening of a £21.4m support scheme, which will benefit more than 11,000 local farms.

The Mid Ulster MLA commented, “I welcome this announcement today and I encourage all local farmers to apply for this support scheme when it opens on Monday 7th September. Local farmers have been badly impacted by the pandemic and as the SDLP member of the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee, I lobbied Minister Poots to ensure a comprehensive support scheme was delivered.

“It is welcome that Minister Poots has designed a scheme that targets financial support to those farmers most badly impacted by COVID-19, businesses in the dairy, beef, sheep, potato and ornamental horticulture sectors. I hope these funds are distributed at pace as they will provide a lifeline for many farmers.

“It is clear this pandemic has not yet come to an end and further disturbance and financial hardship for the farming sector is unfortunately likely. It is welcome that the Minister has made a provision for this by retaining funds to be spent in the future if the need arises.”