Fianna Fáil has made a final plea for votes from farmers throughout the country, highlighting the pledges made in its manifesto for the agriculture sector.

Charlie McConalogue, the party’s spokesperson on agriculture, food and the marine, said that his party’s manifesto proposals “dwarf all others”.

He highlighted that the party is committed to spending an additional €130 million in exchequer funding for the agriculture sector.

My party is substantially investing in farm incomes and safeguarding the family model of farming.

“This is pivotal to the rural economy. Rural Ireland has been entirely neglected by this outgoing Government,” McConalogue claimed.

He continued: “We are making a statement of intent by investing an additional €50 million in the ANC scheme, bringing total funding to €300 million/annum over a term of government. This scheme is critical to enhancing farm incomes; preventing land abandonment; and protecting biodiversity.”

McConalogue also cited Fianna Fáil’s plans to implement changes to the Fair Deal Scheme for farm families, which, he said, would “address a real issue that is causing family heartbreak”.

Election time

The General Election 2020 will take place tomorrow, Saturday, February 8, after a short but intense campaign. Polling stations will open at 7:00am.

Most parties have had something to say about agriculture, with some going into great detail.

Farmers have already been encouraged to get out and have their say.

Tim Cullinan, the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), said: “I would encourage farmers and their families to weigh up what they have heard on the hustings before deciding who has the best grasp of the issue.”

Similarly, Pat McCormack, the president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), said: “Every farm and farm-related vote should be cast for candidates who support farming and the wider rural economy… It’s impossible to overstate how important it is that we have a government who will work with us.”