FINANCIAL SUPPORT worth up to £2m will be made available to farmers producing parent stock and hatching eggs in Northern Ireland that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted.

Demand for chicken has dropped internationally because of the closure of out-of-home eating, and this has led to a drop in demand for hatching eggs.

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Eligible producers will be able to apply for the support with a single application form that will be made available on the DAERA website later this month.

Agriculture Minister Gordon Lyons said: “Minister Poots met with representatives of poultry farmers producing parent stock and hatching eggs for Moy Park Ltd and recognised the financial impact that falling demand for hatching eggs, particularly in international markets and interdependencies within the supply chain, had on the local industry.

“To offset the losses incurred by these farmers during the time it has taken for markets to recover, I am pleased to announce up to £2m of financial support from the Covid-19 fund.”

He added: “This support will address the financial impact of depleting laying flocks earlier than normal, and cash flow consequences of longer intercrop periods for both rearing and laying farms.”