FF Dáil motion calls for action on fodder crisis

FodderFianna Fáil is calling for the establishment of a dedicated unit within the Department of Agriculture to co-ordinate the response to the fodder crisis.

The Dáil will this week will discuss a Fianna Fáil motion criticising what the party claims was a slow and inadequate response to a crisis which has been devastating for hundreds of farmers across the West of Ireland.

Mayo Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary explained, “I and my colleagues spent weeks in the early stages of this crisis appealing to the Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to see what was going on, and take decisive action to prevent unnecessary hardship for families.  Unfortunately, it took several weeks for the Minister to admit there even was a problem, and since then the response has been too little too late.

“I very much welcome the fact that the agriculture industry is pulling together to ensure that farmers get through this difficult time. The support of co-ops and farming organisations is helping many farmers to feed their cattle when they may otherwise have been unable to.

“Meanwhile the response from Minister Coveney and his government has been totally inadequate.   It took far too long for the Minister to intervene and hundreds of farmers are still struggling to get the help that they need. This crisis is not over yet.  Many farmers here in Mayo will continue to struggle in the aftermath of this crisis and the Government simply cannot afford to take its eye off the ball.

“Fianna Fáil is calling for the establishment of a special unit within the Department of Agriculture to oversee and co-ordinate efforts between government departments, agencies, co-ops, marts and financial institutions to tackle this crisis.  This unit must also keep fodder and credit supplies under review, with fail safe measures to ensure that this crisis does not emerge again.

“We also want the Department of Agriculture and financial institutions must also reach agreement to ensure an adequate supply of credit to farmers during times of acute pressures on essential agricultural supplies.

“Next week in the Dáil, TDs will be given a chance to vote on our proposals aimed at ensuring that farmers here in Mayo and across the country do not continue to suffer undue hardship as a result of this and that this is never allowed to happen again,” Deputy Calleary said.

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