IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy said there is growing frustration among farmers over the failure by Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to bring forward any measures at today’s Fodder Action Group meeting in Sligo.
Richard Kennedy said it’s incomprehensible that the Minister has not delivered anything, given the scale of the difficulties for the 85% of farmers in the region who don’t have sufficient fodder. “We sent a clear message to his officials today that the time for procrastination is over.
“Our view is that a feed voucher scheme for concentrated feed/meal would have been the most efficient way to address this problem. While there is no doubt that farmers in some counties have some surplus fodder, it is costly to transport it and it is far from certain that there is sufficient fodder to address the problem in the worst affected areas. However, a transport support scheme would be welcome so long as it is operable and put in place quickly,” he said.
In the absence of any response to the crisis from the Minister, IFA had mobilised its national county and branch network to support those farmers in most difficulty. Counties have been twinned to identify farmers who are in a position to contribute hay or silage that can be transported to areas in need and provided at a reasonable cost.
Richard Kennedy said, “A survey undertaken by Teagasc has clearly established that 85% of farmers in the north-west region are affected by fodder shortages and have, on average, less than half of the fodder they need for the winter. That is a very stark situation for the farmers affected”.