Members of the IFA Grain Committee are occupying the Department of Agriculture in Kildare St this evening, seeking the full details of the tillage scheme and an urgent meeting with Minister Michael Creed. IFA wants to discuss elements of the scheme, which have been reported in the media, and which would not be acceptable to the IFA.
IFA has been lobbying for a support package for tillage farmers who lost crops in the 2016 harvest due to dire weather conditions.
Joe Healy said IFA has held a number of meetings with the Department about the details of the scheme, and the Department had committed to a further meeting once the draft scheme had been prepared. This has not happened. “We need to sit down with the Minister and sort this out before the scheme is published,” Joe Healy said.
At a meeting of the IFA Grain Committee today, Chairman Liam Dunne said members were very concerned about the selective information that appeared in the media. The report quoted a Department spokesman as saying that the scheme would go ahead and gave some limited details about the scheme.
He said, “The details are totally unacceptable to the Grain Committee, as the scheme appears to be too narrow and restrictive. The reported budget may not be sufficient to cover the full extent of the losses incurred by farmers. Those farmers who are most affected must receive the most from the scheme”.
“Given the financial pressure farmers have been under for almost a year as a result of lost crops, it is crucial that payments are made to farmers as soon as possible. It must be user friendly and ensure that sufficient aid gets to those who deserve it.”