Northern Ireland pig farming under severe threat as cost of living crisis and inflation bite

Northern Ireland’s pig farming industry is under severe threat due to the cost of living crisis, according to sector leaders.

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has said a combination of challenges, including rising feed and energy costs have put farmers under increasing pressure.

UFU deputy president John McLenaghan said that some farmers in England have stopped production because of soaring production costs.

He insists that intervention is needed to prevent that happening here.

“It’s a severe threat. These guys are suffering losses month after month. If they’re going to stay in business they need to see support to get them out of this situation.

"The only way they’re surviving is by extending overdrafts & loans.”

County Down farmer Edgar Carson told UTV that feed prices and energy bills have doubled over the last year. He says he has making a loss for 6 months.

“There is a certain level of anxiety as you never know if you’re making money or not. The price of grain varies so much & energy bills are soaring.

"We don’t know how long we can keep going.”

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has recently met with representatives from the Agri-food sector.

He has said contingency work is taking place across the devolved regions to offer help to farmers.

Those on the ground have called for that help to be substantial and insist it must come quickly.

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