Speaking following meetings with Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland, the Chairperson of the ICMSA’s Farm Business Committee, Mr. Lorcan McCabe, said that his organisation had stressed the critical need for committed and ongoing financial support to the farming sector – most particularly, dairy farmers – in the short to medium term given that farmer milk prices are currently below the cost of production and farmer-customers are likely to need support from their bank during periods of tight cash-flow.
Mr. McCabe stated that this support will be critical for the ongoing development of the sector and farmers will need flexibility from their banks in coping with the challenges of more frequent and more extreme volatility. The Farm Business Committee Chairperson noted that ICMSA had asked the banks to bring forward loan packages that link repayment capacity to milk price and so provides farmers with a mechanism to manage volatility and farm investment effectively.
For those farmers who are already in difficulty or are concerned regarding repayment capacity in the months ahead, Mr. McCabe advised an early engagement with their banks aimed at an acceptable and manageable solution from the farmer’s perspective. For their part, the banks committed to looking at a variety of options such as the provision of additional working capital or ‘interest-only’ periods on repayments in order to get over the financial difficulties of 2016 and Mr McCabe said that ICMSA will be closing monitoring the situation to ensure that the banks follow through on this commitment with individual farmer customers.
Ends 16 February 2016.
Lorcan McCabe, 086-3979804
Chairperson, ICMSA Farm Business Committee
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office