Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has condemned cuts introduced by the Minister for Agriculture on farmers who farm cattle rather than sheep on mountain land.
Under the previous Government, a rule was introduced whereby farmers farming mountain land received €109.71 on the first ten hectares of land as compared to €95.99 for the rest of the land.
Deputy Ó Cuív commented: “After protracted questioning, the Minister has finally admitted that cattle farmers in mountain areas will only receive €95.99 per forage hectare on the first ten hectares of land in 2013, thus reducing payment to these cattle farmers by €137.20 per annum on the first ten hectares.
“The majority of farmers in mountain areas do not have flocks of mountain sheep and this cut will affect the majority of these farmers.
“Hill sheep farmers will not be affected. This is another example of the casual disregard to farmers on mountain areas by the Minister for Agriculture and his total disinterest for the difficulties faced by people farming marginal land.
“What has annoyed many farmers is the fact that this was a hidden stealth cut that the Minister tried to cover up over the last month and which I have been able to clarify by persistent questioning through Parliamentary Questions in the Dáil.
“I now call on the farming organisations and on farmers in marginal areas to resist this cut. It is important that farmers make a stand for themselves. I would urge affected farmers to make their voice heard at the National Agriculture Conference to be held by Fianna Fáil in the Red Cow Hotel, Dublin on March 9th starting at 11am.”