Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue says the Government’s decision to rule out crisis funding for tillage farmers is hugely disappointing.
Deputy McConalogue raised the issue in the Dáil only to be told by Minister Michael Creed that he did not “believe the response to the myriad of issues being faced in the sector has been bad”.
“I find these comments extraordinary considering those farmers who have seen their land and crops destroyed by recent severe weather. Tillage farmers will feel especially let down by the Government, which has done nothing to support them during this difficult period”, said Deputy McConalogue.
“Fianna Fáil has consistently called for the establishment of crisis fund. We will continue to campaign on this, especially given the precedent which was set by my colleague Brendan Smith when he served as Minister in 2010, to establish the Aid Scheme for Potato and Vegetable Crops damaged by frost.
“This Government is continuing to drag its heels when it comes to protecting farming families facing price volatility. This is particularly worrying in the context of the recent severe weather and the fallout from Brexit. Tillage farmers have been worst hit by this summer’s torrential downpours, and despite a commitment from Minister Creed to open a tillage TAMS scheme this Autumn, however, it’s now emerged that farmers will have to wait until 2017 before the scheme will take applications. This is deeply unfair, but typical of Fine Gael’s hand-off approach to small family farmers”.