Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has called for an immediate restoration of the fodder transport scheme, which ended last Friday.
Deputy Ó Cuív has also called for Minster Simon Coveney to again apply for support from the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF).
“Minister Coveney must immediately restore the fodder transport scheme, which ended last Friday,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.
“The scheme was originally extended by 2 weeks with a promise by the Minister to renew it on an on-going basis.
“The weather throughout the country has not improved over the past number of weeks; farms are still flooded in many parts of the country, grass is not growing and silage is not being made.
“I have raised this with the Minster continuously since March and so far his response has been completely underwhelming. Any company or co-op importing fodder from the UK and France would tell the Minister that demand is exceeding supply. The plan to saturate the market with bales of hay has not worked; farmers are only surviving on a week to week basis.
“Minister Coveney must now also make a concerted effort to convince his European colleagues that Ireland qualifies for support under the EUSF. The Minister must insist that the fund caters for a prolonged crisis similar to what farmers have experienced in Ireland over the past 12 months. It has been a disaster for farmers and there needs to be adequate support provided.
“The Minister must also be proactive in ensuring there is some respite for farmers. The cuts to payments under the Disadvantaged Area Scheme (DAS) should be reversed and also the cut to the Farm Assist payment is another area which the Government needs to review.”