The cabinet is set to sign off on a cut in excise duty on fuel which will see a 2c/L reduction in the price of agricultural ‘green’ diesel, farm organisations heard yesterday (Tuesday, March 8).

At a meeting between the farm organisations and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue to discuss food security issues, it was said that cabinet is likely to agree to a cut in excise duty that will reduce the rocketing prices of various fuel types, farm organisation sources have indicated.

The impact of the cut on excise duty to green diesel prices is very muted compared to the impact on petrol and ‘white’ diesel.

Although a reduction of 2c/L on the price of green diesel is unlikely to represent a significant saving for users of the fuel, the general feeling from yesterday’s meeting was that the government will have to do more on the issue to offset the rapidly rising prices.

Speaking this morning, Marca na Feirme president John Keane said that the 2c/L cut “is at odds with concerns over food security”.

He said that all farm organisations “made it clear at last night’s meeting that substantial measures were needed” to address the issue of fuel and fertiliser costs to ensure food security for the months ahead and into next winter”.

“In no way does 2c/L on agricultural green diesel address the rising costs of fuel. Farmers and contractors have seen prices increase in the region of 20c/L to 25c/L over the past week alone.”

However, other farm organisation sources seem to suggest that further measures to deal with green diesel prices may be on the cards in the not too distant future.

Elsewhere, the meeting yesterday heard that there is currently enough fertiliser in the country to last to the end of this month, with further shipments likely thereafter.

There is enough grain for animal feed to last perhaps into July. However, given the fact that Ukraine is a producer of grain, this will be much harder to come by when competing on international markets.

There is, therefore, particular concern over the poultry and pig sectors, as these sectors are likely to feel the pinch on animal feed before others.