Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South Central, Micheál Martin TD, says a National Co-Ordination Group is needed immediately to deal with the fodder crisis, which is causing extreme hardship for hundreds of farmers throughout Cork.
Deputy Martin was speaking after visiting Boherbue Co-Op this morning where special silage distribution has been taking place for local farmers over the last few weeks. Cork North West TD Michael Moynihan then joined Deputy Martin as they visited a local farm affected by the massive shortage in fodder and feed for cattle.
“Having visited Daly’s farm in Boherbue this morning I saw first-hand how this is an animal and welfare crisis. This is also crisis for Irish farming and urgent action is needed now by the Government,” said Deputy Martin
“I am calling for the urgent establishment of a National Co-Ordination group comprised of all the stakeholders affected by the crisis so a plan can be put in place. A range of decisions need to be made; not just in the short term but in the medium and long term as well.
“What we need now is emergency funding to provide farmers with fodder and feed for their starving livestock. Farmers are literally on the breadline and plans must be put in place to secure funding immediately. Payments for farm assist must also be fast-tracked to alleviate the burden on farmers.
“There is also a credit crisis for farmers as they cannot gain extra credit. Banks need to extend their credit facilities to farmers, millers and co-ops; the crisis demands it as a matter of urgency.
“This is a crisis without precedent; the country does not have a sense of how desperate this is. The Government needs to move quickly in tandem with the EU to provide some assistance for farmers.”
Local Fianna Fáil TD Michael Moynihan added: “There is only so much talking we can do; we need a response now. John Daly’s farm in Boherbue is just one example of how a young farmer is trying to cope with the crisis. We want to attract young famers like John into the industry but all pleas for help have fallen on deaf ears.
“As a member of the National Executive of the ICMSA he is acutely aware of the struggles facing thousands of farmers; many have had their profits wiped out and are falling behind on targets they have committed to. Farmers are under enormous pressure and feel they are being ignored by the Government. The time for action is long overdue and I am calling for the establishment of a National Co-Ordination Group to listen to farmers and take corrective action immediately.”