Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD has called on the Government to introduce emergency measures to help alleviate the fodder crisis facing many farmers throughout the country.
Deputy Ó Cuív raised this issue in the Dáil today and said more should be done to help thousands of struggling farmers.
“I was not satisfied with the reply from the Tánaiste as his only response was to say there had been a request made for farmers to give any spare fodder to other farmers.
“Last summer was one of the worst in recent memory for farmers; fields were flooded for months and farmers especially were forced to house their livestock in sheds; which seriously depleted winter food stores. Any hopes of a good spring have been dashed in the past couple of weeks and farmers’ food stores are fast dwindling. There now is a fodder crisis in the country and we need fast and decisive action by the Government. There is huge pressure on many farm families to secure fodder and maintain the necessary levels of cash flow to run their business and pay their bills.
“In Government Fianna Fáil introduced a Fodder Relief Scheme to help farmers, it is now time for the current Government to do the same. The surplus fodder that some farms may have will not be enough to plug the huge gap for thousands of farmers. There is just not enough hay and silage available in many parts of the country and farmers now have to resort to purchasing more and more concentrate.
“The agri-food sector in Ireland is one of the few industries in the country that is thriving and creating jobs. This industry needs to be protected and by introducing a relief scheme, it will go some way to alleviating the pain many farmers are feeling.”