Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Agriculture Michael Moynihan TD is urging all parties to support the Fianna Fáil private members motion prioritising growth in the agriculture and agrifood sector.
Deputy Moynihan said, “Fianna Fáil recognises that agriculture and the agri-food sector is the most important indigenous industry in this country and will play a crucial role in creating jobs and boosting exports. For that reason, we have chosen to use one of our first Private Members motions to urge the government to prioritise the agriculture sector and protect its growth into the future.
“This is the first substantive debate on agriculture of the 31st Dáil. The Fianna Fáil motion provides a basis for the future of the industry. It calls on the government to take a number of decisive steps on a national and European level to facilitate the protection and expansion of key industries within the sector.
The proposals include:
-To negotiate a European wide quota rather than a national quota to allow for the orderly expansion of the dairy industry in Ireland between now and the ending of milk quotas in 2015
-To negotiate changes to the superlevy system so that the levy is only applied where the farmer, the co-op, the country and Europe has exceeded the quota
-To adopt a strong and unequivocal stance at the Mercosur talks to ensure the protection of the Irish beef industry
-To ensure the protection and continuation of a strong decoupled direct payments system in negotiations on the CAP post 2013
-To maintain the Agri-environment Options Scheme as a major support for environmental farming
-To recognise the importance of the western counties to farming and provide greater support to small and medium sized farms
-To pursue the development of food labelling and traceability
-To ensure that state agencies actively support the further development of the indigenous agri-food sector
-To introduce the Fair Trade Act as committed to in the Programme for Government banning unfair practices in the retail sector
Deputy Moynihan concluded, “Our farmers and agri-food producers play a pivotal role in Ireland’s economic future. I am urging the Fine Gael/Labour government to recognise this and give their backing to what is a constructive and positive motion.”