Many farmers are facing cashflow problems as a result of poor weather conditions.
IFA Farm Business Chairperson, Martin Stapleton, has written to the three main banks urging them to support their farming customers who are facing further problems with the continued bad weather.
He welcomed the announcement by AIB this week of a number of options to support farmers through the current difficulties.
Commenting on current conditions, Mr Stapleton said, “Farmers across Ireland have had to buy in extra feed at higher costs and keep cattle housed because of the appalling weather over the winter, which has gone on now well into spring, and caused serious cashflow difficulties, as well as severe stress.”
The Chairperson added, “We are asking that the other stakeholders in the agri-food sector - merchants, co-ops, Teagasc and agri-advisory services - also support farmers under pressure and help them to work towards a sustainable outlook later in the year. In order to reduce the stress on both farmers and animals, we will need all stakeholders to work together.”
IFA is urging banks to be proactive by contacting their customers and engaging with them about their credit situation. Further support has been requested in terms of:
· Extending working capital to farmers and the agri-supply sector to cover increased feed and other input costs.
· Providing flexible and affordable restructuring options to relieve pressure on incomes.
· Taking prompt decisions on all loan applications.
“Farmers should also tackle any cashflow problems by asking for help and engaging with the relevant people. IFA operates a confidential helpline for those who are experiencing financial difficulties and need support and advice – please call 1890 924 853 if you need our help.”