The dairy farming industry is set to receive around a quarter of a million pounds in emergency funding, extending a support scheme introduced last summer.
The lump sum will be dispensed to several dairy farms throughout the Spring, with the cash coming from the States’ Budget Reserve.
Farming costs were already sharply increasing before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with fertiliser and animal feed experiencing abnormal year-on-year hikes.
In August 2022, the States injected £0.5m into the dairy industry to combat skyrocketing input prices and prevent farmers from going out of business.
Agri-inflation has somewhat subsided since 2022, but costs are still running high and much more so than the current broad inflation rate of 8.5% locally.
Environment & Infrastructure began reviewing agricultural policy last year to see whether it has a positive or negative impacts on the natural environment. Now a dairy industry review is underway with a view to understand how to ensure its long-term viability.
Guernsey has 12 farms which could benefit from the emergency funding, distributed based on a pre-existing framework considering individual need.
Pictured: Costs have rocketed for farmers across the world.
Senior politicians who offered help last year admitted that first round of emergency support may not be enough to address the full crisis.
Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez, Environment & Infrastructure President, noted at the time that no support from government would see farmers go out of business.
Now she says that while the emergency funding is “only a stopgap” it is “urgently needed”.
"Dairy farming and our iconic Guernsey breed have a unique place in Guernsey's identity, culture and landscape, and in this current financial climate, emergency funding is needed to see our farmers through this interim period while we carry out a review on the sector's long-term sustainability,” she said.
Deputy Peter Ferbrache, President of the Policy & Resources Committee, agreed: "We all know that emergency funding is not a viable long-term solution for the industry.
“We're doing this to avoid the disastrous outcome of losing this industry in the very short-term, but we are working with the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure to have a viable long-term plan in place, and quickly."
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