Oireachtas committee on agriculture to ‘hit the ground running’ – Cahill

The chairperson of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine deputy Jackie Cahill has said the committee will “hit the ground running”.

It follows the first meeting of the committee this week and the Tipperary TD says he intends to “ensure that the platform is utilised to positively influence agricultural policy” in Ireland.

Minister requested to attend committee meeting

“We will not be sitting around and intend on hitting the ground running with our work. As such, I have formally requested the attendance of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue at next week’s sitting of the committee,” said deputy Cahill.

I know what it is like to run a family farm, to take on the responsibility, and I fully appreciate the daily challenges faced by our country’s farmers.

“It is clear that this committee must focus much of its work on three key issues: CAP negotiations; Brexit; and climate change.

“I will ensure that this is done, by working with all members of the committee, and that its work is focused on issues genuinely affecting the sector at the moment, as well as issues coming down the line,” he added.

Forestry legislation

Next week the committee will be reviewing the Forestry (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2020.

Deputy Cahill said: “I spoke on this issue in the Dáil yesterday evening [Wednesday, September 30]. It is clear that this sector needs urgent attention.

The industry is on its knees. Red tape must be cut. Those on the ground must be listened to, and action must be immediate and decisive if we are to save this industry.

“The committee will be provided with an opportunity to review the legislation and work to make it as impactful as possible,” he stated.

The committee shadows the work of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. It advocates for the agri-food sector and scrutinises activities in the area.

“As chair, I will ensure that the committee commences its work immediately, calls those before it that we require answers from, and tackles the issues that are within our remit to work on, for the benefit of farmers, rural Ireland, our economy and our environment,” Deputy Cahill concluded.