14 Mar 2016
IFA STEPS UP CAMPAIGN TO CUT INPUT COSTS FOR GRAIN FARMERS WITH ABOLITION OF DUTIES ON FERTILISERBrussels, Brussels Daily, Grain, IFA in Brussels, Rural Development
At a meeting in Brussels with the Director of the EU Rural Development Programme, Loriz-Hoffmann, IFA National Grain Committee Chairman Liam Dunne called on the Commission to speedily approve Ireland’s RDP plan which incorporates specific investment grant aid proposals for tillage farmers.
Mr Dunne said, “Irish tillage farmers compete head on against grain from low-cost economies like Russia and the Ukraine. Significant on-farm investment in precision equipment, technology and infrastructure is needed to ensure that Irish tillage production remains sustainable.”
Speaking to Minister Coveney on the fringes of the Council of Agriculture Ministers’ meeting In Brussels today, Liam Dunne welcomed the Minister’s call on the Commission to abolish import tariffs and duties on fertiliser. “This move would see farm gate fertiliser prices fall by up to 14%, helping to restore competitiveness to Ireland’s and Europe’s hard-pressed grain sector.”
IFA Inputs Project Team Chairman James McCarthy said IFA is building strong momentum in Brussels for the suspension of EU import tariffs on fertiliser which an IFA study shows is costing European farmers over €1bn per year in unnecessary input costs.
He called on the EU Commission to set up an urgent investigation on foot of the strong evidence put forward by the IFPRI report. In the first instance, he called on the Commission to cut input costs to farmers by abolishing duties and border taxes that only serve to protect European fertiliser producers at the expense of farmers.
“The ongoing concentration of Europe’s fertiliser manufacturing industry, coupled with greater vertical integration of the sector’s supply chain, has seen farmgate fertiliser prices increase at an unjustified rate relative to other input costs. The industry historically blamed the disparity on rising energy costs. However, the steep fall in energy prices over the last two years has not been reflected in retail fertiliser prices to the primary producer.”