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€50 to Secure Irish Pig Production

by 5m Editor
19 December 2008, at 3:20pm

IRELAND - The Irish Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith, has welcomed the approval by the Dáil of a Supplementary Estimate for €50 million for his Department.

The Minister described the new money as "an essential element in securing the future of the Irish pig production and processing industry, worth €1.1 billion annually".

In a speech in the Dáil, Minister Smith said that he intended to make available a facility of up to €180 million for the scheme and explained that the €50 million approved today would be as much as he could reasonably expect to discharge before the end of the year.

The Minister said that he expects to be "in a position to make interim payments to those directly affected and who can demonstrate verifiably the extent of their need during this early period in the process".

The Minister also confirmed that he had met representatives of the producers last week and said that discussions are continuing with his Department.

Mr Smith said: "While progress has been made, a number of issues are still outstanding but I remain optimistic that a satisfactory outcome can be achieved quickly."