Creed must ‘stand up for hard pressed tillage farmers’

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, needs to stand up for tillage farmers, according to the Fianna Fail spokesperson on Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

Speaking in the Dail yesterday, the Fianna Fail TD called on Minister Creed to work with his European colleagues to secure emergency funding for tillage farmers.

This call comes as hundreds of farmers, particularly those along the west coast, have been badly hit by heavy rainfall this summer which has seen much of their crop yields destroyed.

And, to ease the burden on these farmers, McConalogue wants Minister Creed to raise the issue with other European Union Ministers at their meeting on Monday.

Tillage farmers in coastal counties have suffered a devastating summer, with heavy downpours leaving the land saturated and the harvest at risk.

“This is the main source of income for these farm families and their livelihoods are now seriously jeopardised,” he said.

McConalogue continued to say that tillage incomes have been decimated over the past number of months.

“Teagasc estimates that the average income will have fallen by €14,000 to €20,000 this year.

“Any further losses as a result of a ruined summer harvest would be disastrous for these families. The Minister must act to help them.

‘Farmers watch their livelihoods disintegrate’

The Fianna Fail spokesperson also told the Dail that “farmers have watched their livelihoods disintegrate before their eyes.

“The price that they are getting for their crops is now substantially below production costs and many are really struggling to stay afloat.

“I have previously called on the Minister to set up an emergency fund to help them out. This needs to be done as a matter of urgency and should be raised at European level.

This is an extremely serious situation and warrants discussion at the European Union Council of Agriculture Ministers meeting.

“I am urging Minister Creed to stand up for Irish tillage farmers and begin a discussion on an emergency package for these hard pressed families,” he said.