Fodder crisis requires Government to provide more supports as struggling Kildare farmers are 'at the end of their tether' says TD

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Fodder crisis requires Government to provide more supports as struggling Kildare farmers are 'at the end of their tether' says TD
12:20 Tuesday 14th of August 2018

Fianna Fáil TD for South Kildare, Fiona O’Loughlin TD has said that while some of Minister Creed’s fodder crisis mitigation plans are welcome, he is ignoring and failing to commit to the three most important activities that are crucial to alleviating the pending animal welfare crisis.

Deputy O’Loughlin said, “Of course the announcement of an extension to the slurry and fertiliser deadlines is very welcome. However, this costs the State nothing and doesn’t deal with the major challenges that are without question coming down the road. The Government must immediately open the €25 million low cost Brexit loan scheme for farmers and fishermen as announced in October 2017. Farmers’ cash flow is already under severe pressure and low-cost credit is critical to helping them survive. Additional funds for this scheme must also be announced in the Budget 2019 statement in October."

Deputy O'Loughlin is calling on Minister Michael Creed to direct Bord Bia to redouble its efforts to open new markets for dairy cross stock and to allocate staff to ensure that this happens as quickly as possible.

"This needs to be a top priority for Bord Bia," said Deputy O'Loughlin.

“Finally, the Department must start identifying, importing and storing fodder from overseas to prepare for winter and spring, while the Fodder Import Scheme must be reopened. Waiting until animals are starving is neither fair nor smart. The Minister must deal with the crises affecting Irish farmers now and not when it’s an emergency," she said.

“Farmers in Kildare are at the end of their tether. They have no idea how they will feed their animals later this year and it is causing many a sleepless night and severe mental health issues. I have spoken with many farmers over the last number of months who feel the Government are sitting on their hands and not doing enough to safeguard the farmers. The Minister did listen to the farmers who are dealing with the crisis head on. He must understand that dealing with the Fodder Crisis cannot be done without spending money,” concluded Deputy O’Loughlin.

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