Farmers look to band together in the face of fodder crisis

Counties across the country have been paired up in an effort to combat the current fodder crisis facing farmers.

The emergency fodder initiative was launched by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) today.

IFA president Joe Healy announced that the IFA will mobilise its national county and branch network to support farmers who are worst affected by the problem.

Counties have been twinned with a view to identifying farmers who are in a position to contribute feed and so that fodder can be transported to areas in need.

Commenting on the initiative, Healy said: “It is disappointing that the minister has, to date, failed to support a meal voucher system – which we strongly believe would have been the best and most efficient solution.

We are now seeking a commitment from the minister to fund the cost of transporting the fodder to the areas in need as part of this interim initiative.

The initiative is designed to provide fodder for those in dire need in the coming weeks, in order to get them over Christmas and the new year, Healy added.

As part of the initiative, county chairmen and branch officers that are in areas of the country that are not affected to the same extent with the fodder crisis will identify farmers who are prepared to provide even small amounts of feed – at a reasonable agreed fixed price.

Image source: IFA

This initiative was drawn up by the IFA at the recent National Council meeting.

It is expected that IFA officers in the areas most affected by the fodder crisis will work closely with Teagasc and the local district veterinary office (DVO) to identify the farmers currently in critical need of fodder.

It is hoped that county chairmen in counties or regions with feed to contribute will link up with their counterparts in the areas requiring feed, to organise delivery and distribution of the fodder to farmers who are currently in urgent need of feed.

The IFA outlined that county chairs in the worst affected counties met with the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, and attended the recent fodder action meeting in Sligo; but there has yet to be a tangible outcome to these meetings, according to the IFA.