‘Minister Creed has kicked hopes of a crisis tillage fund to touch’

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has kicked hopes of a crisis tillage fund to touch, according to Fianna Fail TD Charlie McConalogue.

The Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson said he’s extremely disappointed that Minister Creed failed to outline a specific plan for the delivery of a crisis aid package for tillage farmers.

McConalogue hoped that Minister Creed would announce details of the crisis aid package at this week’s National Tillage Forum.

Last month a Fianna Fail motion to establish a crisis aid fund for tillage farmers was passed in the Dail, he said.

Minister Creed has kicked hopes of a crisis fund to touch, leaving tillage farmers face down in the mud with no support.

“This is a shocking state of affairs. It seems that Fine Gael just don’t care about farmers whose livelihoods have been seriously damaged.

“The fact that the much needed tillage TAMS scheme has been delayed by a number of weeks will only exacerbate matters for these farmers.

At a time when the Department is running an underspend of some €86m for last year, I find it incredible that the Minister is continuing to refuse to introduce an emergency fund in the region of €5m.

Farmers are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of movement from Minister Creed and his Department on establishing a crisis fund as well as the TAMS scheme, he added.

“The clock is ticking for the Minister, he needs to recognise the anger out there and begin acting in the interests of hard pressed farmers,” he added.

Calls for immediate action on an aid package for young tillage farmers in financial difficulty due to the challenging harvest last year were also made by Macra na Feirme National President Seán Finan at the forum.

“We welcome the indication from Agriculture Minister Michael Creed that he is willing to discuss the mechanics of how an aid package could be rolled out.

We don’t have time to delay on this given the financial challenges and difficulties some young tillage farmers face on the ground.

The Macra President also welcomed the announcement that details on the tillage TAMS scheme will soon be announced.

“This Tillage TAMS scheme is very important for young tillage farmers and needs to be launched as quickly as possible.

“It has to contain measures that are reachable and economically feasible for young farmers. The measures need to suit all sized operators and those who are starting their tillage farming career,” he said.