Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has accused the Minister for Agriculture of remaining idle and doing nothing to avert the disaster that could affect farmers in Ireland this year.
Deputy Ó Cuív was commenting on the unusually wet summer in Ireland which has affected the farming yields.
“Farming by its nature is an uncertain business and farmers normally accept the ups and downs of farming as a matter of course. However, every now and again a ‘perfect storm’ occurs and when this happens it is necessary for the Government to take swift and comprehensive action. This summer is one of those occasions and by acting now the Government can prevent a disaster in the farming community.
“I am now calling on the Minister to take the following actions.
1. To introduce a feed subsidy scheme directed at the worst affected areas and farmers.
2. The Minister arrange with the Financial Institutions to give low interest loans to farmers to hold stock and buy feed. Also that decisions on applications be speedy and there should be a minimum amount of paper work involved.
3. That 70% of the Single Payment rather than 50% be paid in the advance this year.
4. The Minister should direct his officials in An Bord Bia to engage with the exporters of both live cattle and the meat trade to expand the outlets for livestock to meet the likely heavy sales of cattle this autumn.
5. The Minister should announce immediately the re-opening of the AEOS scheme on the same basis as previously.
6. That the Minister ensures in carrying out necessary inspections under various schemes, the weather is taken into account by inspectors in deciding compliance with schemes.
7. The Minister should withdraw the new stocking requirements imposed this year under the Disadvantaged Area Scheme that is forcing people to buy stock for land in a year that land is in poor condition and many farmers are under financial strain.
“If these measures are introduced then the huge strain that farmers are under will somewhat be eased. It has been a cruel summer for many farmers and the Minister must do all in his power to ensure that 2012 will not be a wasted year for the thousands of farmers throughout the country,” concluded Deputy Ó Cuív.