IFA National Grain Chairman Kieran McEvoy has called on the Minister for Agriculture to use EU agricultural reserve funding to provide urgent exceptional aid to the tillage sector.
“Our sector has many medium and long-term challenges that are being looked at by the Tillage Food Vision group, but right now we have a crisis situation on the ground,” Mr. McEvoy said.
“IFA met with Minister for Finance Michael McGrath and Minister for Public Expenditure Pascal Donohoe last Friday as part of the pre-Budget process. The delegation pointed that this crisis had significantly worsened since we made our pre-Budget submission and this must be addressed in the upcoming Budget, or before it if possible,” he said.
“The EU Commission has provisionally allocated Ireland with €9.5m of funding from the agricultural reserve. These funds are earmarked to support sectors impacted by adverse weather, high input costs and market-related issues. The tillage sector is taking a hit by each measure,” he said.
“The Commission also granted Member States the scope to complement agricultural reserve funding with 200% funding from the National Exchequer. The Minister must leverage off this and ensure any exceptional aid is topped up with additional funding in the forthcoming Budget,” Mr. McEvoy said.
“There is absolutely no doubt that exceptional aid is needed for some sectors in 2023. Anyone involved in the production of tillage or horticultural crops has been particularly affected. Without support we are going to see a further contraction in tillage area in 2024 similar to what we saw happening in 2023,” he said.