New scheme aims to encourage social welfare recipients into dairy sector

A new programme is aiming to encourage social welfare recipients into the dairy sector to help with a shortage of labour.

According to figures from Teagasc around 6,000 more workers will be needed in the dairy sector between now and 2020.

Since the abolition of milk quotas 600 new farmers have entered the dairy sector and cow numbers have increased 40%.

This pilot project to begin in mid-August in Waterford and Kilkenny will be open to people who are currently out of work, or are working part-time, or who are currently farming full-time but want to earn extra money.

Workers could earn up to €5,000 in a year and, if successful, it will be rolled out to other counties, including Kerry, from September.

Deputy News Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, Caitríona Morrissey says the labour shortage in the dairy industry has been well publicised: