Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has joined the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) in calling for a €50 million emergency fund to deal with the fodder crisis.
Deputy Ó Cuív said continuing unsettled weather combined with problems transporting fodder in from the UK and France means the fodder crisis continues to devastate the farming community.
“I am joining with the IFA in seeking a €50 million emergency fund to assist farmers still suffering from the fodder crisis. There is an extreme shortage of fodder for farmers right across the country. Short-term and long-terms measures must be taken by the Minister for Agriculture to help farmers deal with the crisis.
“Swift short-term action is needed in the form of finance as the unsettled weather continues to leave vast swathes of the country under water. A further extension of the Imported Fodder Transport Scheme is required as a matter of urgency. The scheme needs to be extended to cover the full cost of transporting fodder from France for all participants. It is getting more and more difficult to import fodder from the UK and there is a natural added cost to transporting from France.
“Ireland should also seek assistance from the crisis fund established in Europe to pay for the emergency measures that must be taken. I welcome the efforts Minister Coveney has taken so far but they do not go far enough; cattle are still starving; farmers are in despair and the continuing poor weather is offering no hope.
“It is vital that Minister Simon Coveney impresses upon the European authorities that this is as big a farming crisis as he is likely to find in Europe because it is so widespread and has persisted for so long.”