Blog Archives

O’Neill Welcomes New Trade Opportunity With China

Agriculture Minister O’Neill today welcomed China’s agreement to allow porcine semen exports from the North. The Minister was speaking after a meeting between the Chinese Minister Zhi Shuping, Defra Secretary of State, Owen Patterson and the DARD Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Perpetua McNamee.  She said: “This represents a new lucrative…

Read more →

Support Package For Fishermen Receives Executive Approval

The NI Executive today (28 February 2014) gave approval to a support package, worth between £400,000 and £500,000, for fishermen who have been challenged financially due to the exceptionally poor weather this winter. Speaking after today’s Executive meeting, NI Fisheries Minister O’Neill said: “The hardship that fishermen and their families have…

Read more →

O’Neill Pays Tribute To ‘Inspirational’ Father Kennedy

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has joined in the tributes to the Chair of the Lough Neagh Co-operative Society, Father Kennedy, who died today (Wednesday 7 August). Minister O’Neill said: “Father Kennedy was an inspirational figure for Lough Neagh eel fishermen and their families, whose interests he represented so…

Read more →

O’Neill Outlines Support Measures for Fishing Sector

Responding to a debate on challenges facing the fishing fleet in Portavogie, Fisheries Minister Michelle O’Neill has outlined a package of measures that will assist the industry to respond to the challenges ahead. Minister O’Neill said: “I recognise that the industry is going through a challenging period and that more changes…

Read more →

Minister O’Neill Assesses Fodder Scheme Impact

FOLLOWING a technical assessment by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of the current fodder situation, Minister Michelle O’Neill has concluded that the 2013 Fodder Transport scheme should end at midnight on 31 May, as previously published. The Department’s technical assessment would indicate that fodder availability has increased considerably and…

Read more →

Fishing Chief Says Future is Bleak as DARD Abandons Fishermen

ALAN McCulla, Chief Executive of the Kilkeel-based Anglo-North Irish Fish Producers Organisation has expressed his anger and frustration with DARD who says have “abandoned” Northern Ireland’s fishermen. Since last September the County Down prawn fishing industry has struggled against falling demand, an unstable Euro, bad weather  and the introduction of new technical…

Read more →

O’Neill Launches Fodder Aid

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill said today (18 May) that the Executive’s emergency fodder aid would be available from midnight on Saturday 18 May. Announcing the opening of the scheme, the Minister said: “I am conscious that many farmers face a crisis today. I am therefore keen to make this support aid…

Read more →

Ritchie Calls on DARD to Assist Farmers with No SFP’s

SOUTH Down MP Margaret Ritchie has called on the DARD Minister Michele O’Neill to back farmers who do not have SFP entitlements. Ms Ritchie said: “The terrible weather conditions of the last twelve months and rapidly rising costs of production have demonstrated just how crucial the Single Farm Payment (SFP)…

Read more →

O’Neill Announces Introduction of Licences for Felling of Trees in Woodlands

FORESTRY Minister Michelle O’Neill today announced that felling licences for felling of trees in woodlands will come into effect in June 2013. The Minister made the announcement following agreement in the Assembly to the Forestry (Felling of Trees) (Calculation of the Area of Land) Regulations (NI) 2013. Parallel legislation, The…

Read more →

O’Neill Announces 2013 Single Application Process

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has announced that the 2013 Single Application Form (SAF) process is now underway. The Minister is urging farmers to make full use of their most up to date maps and available online resources when completing their applications. The SAF process has been in operation since 2005…

Read more →

Minister Welcomes Progress at Agriculture Council

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has welcomed the constructive dialogue on CAP reform and beef mislabelling at yesterday’s EU Agriculture Council meeting in Brussels. The Minister said: “Before the Council meeting, I had a very useful discussion with Ministers from England, Scotland and Wales on our CAP reform priorities as the negotiations…

Read more →