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28 Jun 2022

'Farmers are being talked at' - IFA president calls for climate plan negotiation

'Farmers are being talked at' - IFA president calls for climate plan negotiation

'Farmers are being talked at' - IFA president calls for climate plan negotiation

The president of Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) is calling on the government to negotiate with farmers on a climate plan. 

Tim Cullinan made the comments after a Save Irish Farming rally in Dublin over the weekend, which took place in the hopes of sending "a strong message" to government that negotiation has to take place. 

He said, "Farm families are genuinely concerned about their future. Equally, there is deep frustration that every policy of this Government, including their proposed National Strategic Plan for the next CAP, is designed to reduce production. Farmers are being asked to do more and more for less." 

Cullinan said a farm-level plan is needed, and that Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, "cannot continue to avoid the views of farmers before he finalises plans next month". 

He said farmers are "very conscious" of the challenge climate change poses and want to do their part, but that "farmers are being talked at, rather than talked to". 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Irish agriculture sector was responsible for 37.1% of emissions in 2020, mainly methane from livestock. 

Cullinan continued: "The Government needs to provide more funding, including a properly-funded Common Agricultural Policy, to ensure that farmers can take on the climate challenge while remaining viable. Currently, only 30% of farmers in Ireland are viable, and the Government’s policies will make more family farms unviable. 

"The farming and food sector employs 300,000 people across the country, and we contributed €13bn in exports in 2020. We will not be ignored or pushed aside." 

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