Fine Gael TD John Deasy says this week’s opening of the new €50 million TAMS II Dairy Equipment Scheme is essential for Waterford farmers looking to increase production efficiencies following the abolition of milk quotas.
With a standard aid rate of 40% available, the funding will assist dairy farmers to modernise milking parlour technology.
Deasy said: “Already we're beginning to see major volatility in global milk prices. Demand from China has eased and Russia’s response to EU sanctions has had a major effect on prices. It has been compensated by a drought in New Zealand, but we now know we’re in a global market.
“Waterford farmers should avail of TAMS II as much as they can. The long term outlook for milk is still very good but a lot will depend on how efficient and technologically advanced individual operations are,” he added.
The scheme covers investment in milking machines, milk cooling and storage equipment, water heating and in-parlour feeding systems. All applications must be made online. The first funding round opens next week and runs until early October.
Waterford TD John Deasy has received confirmation that a Dáil debate on dairy incomes, which he initially asked for before Christmas, will take place on March 4; coinciding with the ending of the EU milk quota system next month.
The Fine Gael deputy followed up his original request with the Taoiseach on the Order of Business last Wednesday. He had sought the debate on foot of a Teagasc report forecasting a serious decline in dairy incomes this year due, primarily, to global oversupply — at a time when many milk suppliers, especially younger farmers, have invested heavily in their businesses.
John was told that time has been set aside on the first Wednesday in March and that Minister Simon Coveney will be present to hear TDs’ contributions on the issue.