Michael Fitzmaurice TD has called for more supports to be put in place for Farmers and for a common sense approach to be taken to help alleviate problems facing the industry.
In a comprehensive speech in the Dáil he covered all sectors and the following are some excerpts
“There are problems in the dairy sector and a lot of farmers borrowed money hoping that there would be a bonanza on milk prices but that has not happened and it is something that I warned might happen. I am hoping that things will pick up but more help is needed in this sector.”
“With regard to beef, I am expecting a tough end of year. There are now 65,000 less cattle being exported since the figure in 2010 and that has meant that the big factories have been dropping prices non stop and we have to do something about that situation. There are the possibility of new markets like Egypt coming up but the key to this is an increase in live exports”
“With regard to forestry we are told that bogland is no longer suitable for planting and now better quality land is being used but we must be careful that we don’t run local farmers and communities off their land to plant forestry. That would not make sense at all. There is no point in having forestry if you are ruining local communities.”
“With regard to CAP family farms must be helped to stay in existence. It has been proven time and again that 95% of what is collected local in CAP payments is spent locally and this helps the local shop, the local post offices and other businesses and it is good for rural communities. The schemes that are available have to be done in a way that is suitable for all farmers. For instance the GLAS Scheme has been changed three or four times and it militates against the small farmers every time. We have to be fair and give all farmers a future and an equal chance” he concluded.
His comments on the Dairy Sector were echoed by IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary who said that “All the industry stakeholders, including co-ops, banks and the government, must come together to provide price, merchant credit, financial and tax support for farmers who are faced with hugely variable incomes, and are carrying too much of the market risks as things stand,”