The Northern Irish pig sector will receive £2.2 million as part of a Covid-19 support package to help producers who suffered significant losses.
In particular, the package will provide support for farmers who endured financial losses due to the temporary closure of Cranswick Country Foods.
Production at the Co Antrim site was halted in August 2020 following the discovery of a Covid-19 cluster amongst workers.
This caused a temporary loss of the lucrative Chinese export market.
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) announced that applications for support will open next month.
Over 11,300 farmers and growers have already received almost £19m to offset the losses incurred as a result of the pandemic’s impact.
The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) said the new support package would provide 'vital support' for the region's pig producers.
UFU deputy president William Irvine said: “This funding will provide essential support to our pig producers and will help sustain farm businesses.
"It is expected to compensate for a large proportion of the losses incurred by producers while the process plant remained closed.
"This includes the temporary loss of the Chinese export market, additional penalties on overweight and overfat pigs, and the impact on other pig market avenues.
Producers who are eligible to apply will be contacted by DAERA to complete an application form to claim their payments.