Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has urged distressed farmers to ring the Department of Agriculture’s helpline and contact their local District Veterinary Office (DVO) to avail of assistance in dealing with the fodder crisis.
Deputy Ó Cuív was speaking after the Minster for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, told the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture today that a special helpline has been set-up and that DVOs have been provided with whatever money is necessary to assist the farming community.
“The Minister has at last acted on the fodder crisis by providing a subsidy for transporting fodder into the country,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.
“The Minister has also promised to make whatever money is needed available for DVOs to assist in providing fodder to farmers who cannot afford to buy feed for their livestock. Farmers in this situation should contact their local DVO or call the Department on 1850 211 990.
“After a month of pestering by me and many other people, the Minister has at last moved to help farmers. The various steps taken by the Minister during the last week in conjunction with dairy co-operatives and farming organisations, in importing the necessary fodder into the country, is to be welcomed.
“The Minister assured the Committee today that even farmers who have no business connections with large dairy co-ops will be facilitated in receiving fodder and credit. He also said that banks are anxious to assist farmers and asked that farmers who had difficulty with any aspects of these matters to contact his Department immediately.
“I would ask farmers who are in distress and under tremendous pressure not to be reluctant to make contact and seek assistance. The offer of assistance has been made; no animal or farmer should be made suffer unnecessary hardship because of a reluctance to seek aid.
“This crisis is nobody’s fault; it was an act of nature. Nobody should feel ashamed they have not provided for such a contingency and I would urge farmers in distress to seek help.”