Farming sector needs urgent government and EU assistance – Smith
20 April 2020
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine to urgently introduce measures to support farmers through the public health emergency.
He said, “I have stressed again to the Minister for Agriculture how important it is that he introduce greater supports for farmers who have been adversely affected by this global pandemic. The Minister should make available the unspent funding from the BEAM scheme which I understand amounts to €24m.
“I have also called on the Minister to work with his European counterparts to apply pressure on the European Commission to introduce an ‘Aids to Private Storage Scheme’ to assist the beef sector where prices are at a ten-year low. A similar scheme would also help dairy farmers, another part of the farming sector which has seen a reduction in prices paid to farmers.
“Unsurprisingly the Minister’s response to my queries has been disappointing. He has not acted with the urgency required for such an unprecedented crisis. The European Union and the Government must commit additional financial resources to support this sector which is of critical importance for all of our economy, specifically rural Ireland,” concluded Deputy Smith.