Ahead of IFA’s four regional rallies tomorrow (Fri), IFA President Tim Cullinan said the Government would be making a massive strategic mistake if farmers are forced to cut production in this country.
Farmers will join the rallies starting in Cavan at 7am, moving to Roscommon at 11am, Portlaoise at 4pm and concluding in Cork at 8.00pm, looking to negotiate a plan at farm level with Government that safeguards the viability of farmers.
“Whether it’s the shape of the next CAP, carbon budgeting or sectoral emissions ceilings, it’s time Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael stood up to the Greens. Their ideological opposition to the grass-based farming we have in this country must be challenged,” he said.
Tim Cullinan said farmers have been unfairly targeted in the climate debate. There is little or no consideration given to the role farmers play in climate action, and in sequestering carbon in particular.
“Now they tell us that when they are able to count the carbon farmers are removing from the atmosphere, the State is planning to steal those carbon credits,” he said.
“Those who want to regulate farmers out of business refuse to acknowledge that there will be carbon leakage from reducing production in Ireland. The global population is due to increase from 7.5bn to 10bn by 2050. If food is not produced in Ireland, it will have to be produced in other countries with a higher carbon footprint,” he said.
The IFA President said economic and social considerations have to come into play when deciding on the future of the economy.
“The Government partners have not woken up to the economic and social consequences of Green Party demands for their Utopian version of urban society. Our farming and food sector is the cornerstone of the rural economy and serves as an important counterpoint to development in cities and urban areas,” he said.
He said farmers would not accept a decision to push them aside when they have a valuable contribution to make.
“Our very future is at stake. I’m asking farmers to turn out tomorrow to Save Irish Farming,” he said.