Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith says a new 10 point plan devised by the Party’s agriculture team will help combat the fodder and income crisis being experienced by farmers.
The plan was launched at the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan this week.
Deputy Smith commented, “Farmers across Cavan and Monaghan are all too aware of the failures of this Fine Gael government to address the issues facing them day in, day out. Minister Creed and his Cabinet colleagues refused to acknowledge the fodder crisis, which was clear to anyone on the ground to see, until it was a full blown crisis. This year could be even worse unless urgent action is taken.
“Fine Gael is completely out of touch with ordinary farmers and is failing to grasp the seriousness of the income crisis facing many of them.
“The government must at once bring forward a nationally financed hardship fund to help farmers who have been severely impacted by the fodder crisis, escalating costs, falling cattle prices and extreme weather conditions all year. This would provide funding to support farmers sourcing feed and fodder and deal with mounting input costs.
“Minister Creed is simply not standing up for our farmers. While there may be some flexibility on the GLAS scheme, he has failed to approve appropriate funding measures to support farmers impacted by bad weather and falling incomes. He should follow the lead of other EU countries like Sweden and Germany, which have allocated €117m and €300m respectively, to cover feed shortages for livestock and income loss.
“The long promised €25 million low cost Brexit loan scheme for farmers and fishermen, has still not materialised, further emphasising just how far down the government agenda agriculture and rural Ireland is.
“The government urgently needs to wake up to the seriousness of the situation – it has now become a national emergency which is putting a huge strain on farmers’ mental health and creating animal welfare issues. Our plan will go a long way to addressing the issues affecting hard pressed farmers and I am urging Minister Creed to adopt these policies in the interests of protecting our agriculture sector”.