22 Apr 2013
IFA SAYS MINISTER COVENEY MUST DO MORE TO ASSIST FARMERS THROUGH FODDER CRISISUncategorized
IFA President John Bryan has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to do more to help hard-pressed farmers cope with the unprecedented fodder crisis, and he challenged the Minister to deliver on a number of measures identified by the Association immediately.
John Bryan has welcomed the move by Dairygold and Kerry to import and cashflow forage from the UK for their farmer suppliers. He said other co-ops and stakeholders should do likewise, to assist farmers until they can get their stock out to grass.
Following a meeting in Cork over the week-end between the Minister for Agriculture and IFA officers from the Munster region, the Association’s National Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy said Minister Coveney gave a commitment on the transport costs of feed from the UK. “He must act on this immediately to allow farmers get access to necessary supplies, as stocks locally have run out.”
Flor McCarthy said the Minister has a crisis fund and he must make it freely available to anybody who is under severe pressure due to fodder and cashflow difficulties. He urged farmers who have run out of feed and cash to contact their local DVO and seek assistance from the Department of Agriculture and work with their Teagasc adviser. Local IFA representatives are working to assist farmers in every way possible.
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Mr McCarthy welcomed the Minister’s commitment that the Department would take the pressure on farms fully into account with on-farm inspections.
In addition, IFA repeated a call that the Minister should pay farmers an advance of €1,000 of their Disadvantaged Area payment. This is normally due in September, and the advance can be set against it. Farmers in non-Disadvantaged Areas should get a €1,000 advance on their Single Farm Payment.
Flor McCarthy said, “We have encouraged farmers with surplus fodder to make it available to those who need it. IFA have also met the main banks at Chief Executive level, setting out the difficult situation that exists on