Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister Gordon Lyons has announced a financial support package worth up to £2 million for poultry farmers producing hatching eggs who were impacted last year by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The minister outlined the £2 million poultry support scheme, explaining that: “Minister Poots met with representatives of poultry farmers producing parent stock and hatching eggs for Moy Park Ltd., and recognised the financial impact that falling demand for hatching eggs, particularly in international markets and interdependencies within the supply chain, had on the local industry.

"To offset the losses incurred by these farmers during the time it has taken for markets to recover, I am pleased to announce up to £2 million of financial support from the Covid-19 fund.”

This support will address the financial impact of depleting laying flocks earlier than normal, and cash flow consequences of longer intercrop periods for both rearing and laying farms.

When the scheme opens later this month, eligible farmers will be contacted and asked to complete a simple application form to claim their payments.

Over 11,300 farmers and growers have already received almost £19 million to offset the losses incurred as a result of the pandemic’s impact on the local agri-food sector in 2020.