The price of fertiliser has tripled over the past twelve months, according to independent TD, Danny Healy-Rae.
Speaking on the Dáil plinth yesterday (Tuesday, January 25), Healy-Rae, who is a member of the Rural Independent Group, outlined the current plight of farmers when it comes to output costs.
The TD said that “the farmer is being hit every day” with “every type of obstruction”.
Healy-Rae pointed to the example of small farmers in his native Co. Kerry that want to retain “a bit of land”.
“They need to grow grass in the small patches they have. They need nitrogen and they need fertiliser,” he explained.
Healy-Rae claimed that fertiliser prices quoted to farmers had tripled over the course of 12 months.
He explained that urea prices had increased from €330/t to €930/t and nitrogen quotes were up from €220/t to almost €700/t.
The TD noted a recent report that stated households will pay €780 more on groceries this year.
“If people want to think that this is only hurting the farmers, it is [also] going to hurt the consumer.
“If they [farmers] have to pay more to produce their milk, beef and grain, the cost is going to have to be placed across the board, the people that are buying will have to pay for this.
“Small farmers who need to buy eight or 10 tonnes of fertiliser to barely keep their farms ticking over are going to have to pay €3,000 or €4,000 more for that amount,” he stated.
Although, the TD said he sympathised with “the big farmers” he believed that the smaller producers would be “hit the most” by the price hikes.
Healy-Rae claimed that the government “have done nothing” to tackle rising fertiliser costs for farmers.
He added that farmers are suffering as Russia and Europe are “playing politics”.
“There is an anti-dumping levy and countries outside of Europe can’t supply fertiliser to Ireland without paying an extra charge, something like €40 or €50 extra a tonne,” the TD commented.
“We were told first that fertiliser would be scarce but there are boat loads of it there but they are holding it and hoarding it because they are able to keep up the price of it on the pretence that they can’t get gas from Russia,” Healy-Rae said.