Rogers calls on Agriculture Minister to help farmers with hardship fund

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Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
South Down MLA Seán Rogers has called on the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle O’Neill, to set up a hardship fund to support struggling farmers still waiting on unpaid Single Farm Payments as a matter of urgency.

SDLP MLA Sean Rogers

Speaking to Newry Times, Rogers said, “I understand that the introduction of new remote sensing technology to monitor the use of land has resulted in unforeseen delays of payments. “This comes despite initial hopes that the technology would actually streamline operations. “Assurances that all payments will be finalised by the end of February are of little use to farmers faced with managing immediate cash-flow problems. Rogers added, “The Minister must now act immediately to establish a hardship fund to ensure the Department’s blunder has minimal effect on the livelihoods of those farmers and farm workers awaiting payments.”
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