Farm scheme flexibility needed in light of Covid-19 - Donegal TD says

Full engagement with EU Commission vital for local farmers

Charlie McConalogue Dail

Donegal TD Charlie McConalogue

It is vital that the Department of Agriculture has full engagement with the European Commission for farm scheme flexibility in light of Covid-19, a Donegal TD has claimed.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue said: “We have seen a trojan national effort by citizens and State authorities to battle this virus and all should be commended in their efforts.

“Farmers and the agri-food industry have not been found wanting in ensuring that produce continues to be available on supermarket shelves. Farmers are taking all necessary precautions and following the expert guidance from the HSE.

“Given the centrality of maintaining food security and supply lines during the current crisis, I believe that it is incumbent on the Department to engage with the EU Commission and ensure flexibility in the operation of farm schemes if required.

“All 2020 scheme payment deadlines must also be maintained and communication channels with the Commission kept open on issues such as inspections.

“In order to comply with social distancing best practice, I would echo the calls of ICOS for stocking rules under the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) scheme to be relaxed so that all farmers do not have to go to marts at this time.

“Such a move would enable farmers a longer period of time from which to purchase animals from marts, which will be required in cases to meet stocking density rules under the scheme."

“This is a challenging time for farmers, and we need to do everything to support them, while adhering to HSE guidance,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email To contact Donegal Post, email To contact Inish Times, email

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.