Northern Irish pig and poultry producers will be able to apply for financial support worth £4 million from next week as part of the government's Covid-19 measures.
The support is being made available to pig and poultry farmers who saw their income fall last year due to the impact of the pandemic.
Northern Ireland's Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots announced today that the scheme would open from Monday 15 March.
For the pig sector, many producers incurred financial loss when the processing plant they supplied was temporarily closed due to an outbreak within the workforce.
"This financial support will address the effects of the temporary loss of the lucrative Chinese export market, additional penalties on overweight and overfat pigs, and the price impact of alternative pig marketing arrangements,” Mr Poots said.
For the poultry sector, farmers producing parent stock and hatching eggs for Moy Park Ltd saw falling demand for hatching eggs last year.
"This support will address the financial impact of depleting laying flocks earlier than normal, and the cash flow consequences of longer intercrop periods for both rearing and laying farms,” Mr Poots added.
“I am pleased that over £19m has already been paid out by DAERA to farm businesses impacted by the pandemic and this financial support has been helpful in these difficult times.”
Eligible farm businesses in the pig and poultry sectors will receive a letter inviting them to apply for the support package, he said.
Producers must complete the application form available on DAERA Online Services from Monday 15 March to Wednesday 24 March 2021.