ICMSA has asked the banks to bring forward loan packages that link repayment capacity to milk price and provide farmers with a mechanism to manage volatility and farm investment effectively.
The organisation met Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland, and. according to its Farm Business Committee chair Lorcan McCabe, they 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 milk prices are below the cost of production and farming customers are likely to need support from their bank during periods of tight cash-flow.
He said that this support will be critical for the ongoing development of the sector and farmers will need flexibility from their banks.
For those farmers who are already in difficulty or are concerned regarding repayment capacity in the months ahead, he 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.