Saturday 16 March 2019 04:39:55 PM

Ritchie Calls for Dairy Fund to Support Local Farmers
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South Down MP Margaret Ritchie (SDLP) has called on the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development to offer further support to hard-pressed local dairy farmers.

Speaking following the release of a statement by the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Ms Ritchie said: “I welcome the news that the UK government is providing a £5 million fund for dairy farmers and I will be pushing to ensure that similar funding is made available to farmers in Northern Ireland through Barnett consequentials and enacted by DARD.

“The dairy industry has faced an extremely challenging situation recently with the drought in North America and the resulting record feed prices.

“The new fund in England will allow dairy farmers to apply for grants of up to £25,000 to help support their businesses and we should be calling for similar measures in the North of Ireland.

“I am encouraged by the support the UK government is offering dairy farmers and I hope that the DARD Minister follows suit,” added Ms Ritchie.