The crisis around rising fertiliser prices in Ireland is all about global politics, according to an independent TD.
Richard O’Donoghue was speaking in the Dáil in advance of a European Council meeting taking place today (Thursday, December, 16).
He called for a government representative to raise the issue of rising fertiliser costs for Irish farmers at the meeting.
“Fertiliser is currently costing in excess of €900/t. Most outlets are refusing to even quote for it. One farmer’s cost went up by 54% this year,” O’Donoghue claimed.
“This is a time when farm prices began to increase; [that is] now fully eroded by the fuel and fertiliser costs,” he said.
The Limerick representative pointed to the global political scene as among the reasons for the spiraling bills.
“Currently, the crisis is all about global politics. Russia is easily supplying the world with gas, which is used to make fertiliser. They will supply Europe but the gas pipeline is not ready. This needs to be highlighted as a matter of priority.
“If Europe is considering imposing sanctions on Russia, please bear in mind that Ireland and its agricultural sector will suffer the most,” O’Donoghue said.
The TD claimed that in the promotion of clover in grassland management by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, it was omitted to say that the plant will not grow without nitrogen.
“New grass will die out without fertiliser. All grass will grow at 7°, but is less responsive when it doesn’t have fertiliser,” he added.
Deputy O’Donoghue also hit out at the government’s percentage model setting fuel tax at 56%.
“Now you [the government] are taking €1/L from every person in Ireland. In 2020, you were taking 81c/L.”
He said the government should be “ashamed of itself” when it was taking in €5.6 billion in extra tax while “giving back €170 million in ESB”.