Minister Creed called on to step up to the mark for grain growers

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has been called on to step up to the mark for grain growers by IFA President, Joe Healy.

In an interview with Agriland recently Healy said that the Minister and his Department have to deliver for the tillage farmers affected by the bad weather.

“I want to acknowledge the work of the Minister since he got elected. He’s from an area where he doesn’t have to go too far to see all different types of farming. He’s been very accessible to IFA.”

However, Healy said that the Minister and his Department have to deliver for grain growers and the grain farmers that were affected, really in a line from west Cork up to Donegal.

Healy called on the Minister and the Department to ensure that there’s a fund put in place to look after those farmers who have been so badly affected.

“It’s not a huge amount. You’re really talking about, maximum, 400 grain farmers that just have to be looked after.

“Minister Creed has to step up to the mark here. He has proven and shown that he has the farmers best interests at heart since he got his portfolio.”

No isn’t an option. It’s not an option not to look after them, not to compensate them in some way for the huge losses [they have experienced this year].

“There’s between 380 and 400 farmers affected. We’ve met with him (Minister Creed), we’ve met with the Commissioner Phil Hogan, MEPs, the Department, the Agriculture Committee in the Oireachtas.

“We can’t go away [from this], it is not an option. There are a number of those grain farmers that will not recover and they’ll be gone away for the harvest next year.

“What affects grain farmers doesn’t just affect grain farmers. It affects all sectors of Irish agriculture.”

The IFA President said that Minister Creed has shown that he’s always accessible to farmers but thinks that this is his test – to deliver for grain farmers.

“As far as we’re concerned there isn’t an option [to say no] there. This isn’t an issue that happens every year. The losses are huge for the individual farmer.

“If they’re not supported they aren’t in a position to go back in and plant next year’s crop.”

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