Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has called for the Imported Fodder Transport Scheme to be extended to all reputable agri-businesses.
Deputy Ó Cuív was reacting to the announcement today that the scheme has been extended for another week as the deepening fodder crisis shows no sign of abating.
“Since the fodder crisis began to accelerate last month, the Minster’s reaction has been slow, largely ineffectual and lacking urgency. The stopgap measure of introducing a modest €1 million relief fund has not been enough; the extension of it for another week will be a help but it does not solve the larger crisis facing the agriculture industry. I also welcome the announcement today that the IFA has made €1 million available to help with farmers outside of the scheme.
“The Imported Fodder Transport Scheme is only applicable to dairy co-ops and I am calling on the Minister to extend this to all reputable agri-businesses and hauliers. Minister Coveney has spoken about farmers looking out for each other and for the agriculture sector to rally together but this cannot be done without the Minister facilitating this.
“There have been significant difficulties with the current arrangement and the key is sourcing and transporting fodder throughout the country for delivery to farmers in distress. The relief scheme should not just be confined to dairy co-ops and an expansion of it will make it easier for farmers to get much needed fodder to feed their starving cattle.
“The Minister needs to take more action to make it easier for farmers to access fodder.”