Minister discusses livestock subsidies with farmers |04 April 2022
The Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change & Environment, Flavien Joubert, together with senior staff from the agriculture department of his ministry met with representatives of farmers associations to discuss all livestock subsidies paid by the government.
This came into effect after one main supplier in the chain of agriculture production discontinued to provide all subsidy claims on behalf of the farmers.
To this effect the agriculture department felt that farmers will be affected with this decision, and it is for that reason a meeting was conducted with local producers to discuss the way forward to support the process of subsidy payment and to prevent further impact on food production.
In order to understand the actual situation a presentation was done by senior economist Sara Estico. It was observed that there’s a rapid increase in the value of subsidy especially in animal feed, and this is exceeding the allocated budget of the year. Hence, the agriculture department engaged in discussions to identify solutions with the farmers present so as to prevent the situation from escalating, and to come up with a common ground to sustain these subsidies till mid-year.
To ensure that farmers continue to benefit from the subsidies and due to the fact that the main supplier is no longer participating in the scheme, it was necessary to come up with immediate options of payment of subsidy to farmers. It was agreed that the two best options of payment were: livestock farmers who have problem with cash flow will have to source out a proforma which will be settled by the agriculture department; the second option were farmers who can pay the full price upfront can send their original receipt to be settled by the department.
It is important to note that the agriculture department has already put the mechanism in place for both payment processes and farmers will be informed through the SMS system to facilitate communication.
However, for a medium- and long-term action the minister has proposed a capping system for subsidy payment as a way forward to sustain the scheme.
The representatives from the farmers’ associations welcomed this proposal and they brought forward recommendations related to the capping system which will benefit both parties. However, they proposed that more information need to be collected to decide on the proposed system.
The minister chaired the meeting on Friday afternoon at the National Theatre at Mont Fleuri with Keven Nancy, the principal secretary for Agriculture; Linetta Estico, the chief officer for Agriculture; Elza Quatre, the senior accountant and Sara Estico, senior economist.
Press release from the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change & Environment