Farmers need urgent financial supports to address rising input costs – Matt Carthy TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine challenged the Tánaiste last week to deliver supports to farmers ‘speedily and in a meaningful manner’.
In an exchange with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, during a debate on promised legislation, Deputy Carthy highlighted that farmers’ input costs such as fertiliser, energy, and feed had ‘increased dramatically’ and were ‘unsustainable costs for farmers who operate in a distorted market at the best of times’.
Teachta Carthy told the Dáil:
“I welcome that the European Commission has indicated that market support for farmers under common organisation of agricultural markets, CMO, regulations can be made available when required.
“They are required now!
“Fertiliser prices have increased by up to 228% and there have been dramatic energy and feed price increases. Farmers’ input costs across the board have increased. These are unsustainable costs for farmers who operate in a distorted market where the dominance of retailers and processors means primary producers do not get a fair price at the best of times.
“I welcome the pig sector package announced by Government but it will not be sufficient to meet the needs of that sector.
“Every agriculture sector needs financial support immediately.
“Will the Tánaiste confirm that the Government will avail of the flexibility provided this week in a meaningful manner?
“Will he ensure that happens speedily and that financial supports reach farmers’ bank accounts as a matter of urgency?”
While the Tánaiste was unable to make any commitments last week, he did indicate that it was being worked on.
Speaking this week, Deputy Carthy commented that “Farmers will be all too weary of previous debacles such as the BEAM scheme, which resulted in millions of euro taken out of the pockets of suckler farmers whose participation in the scheme was in of itself proof enough that could not afford to pay those penalties.
“The truth is that the situation regarding fertiliser, feed and energy prices justified market intervention long before now.
“What is now required is workable and meaningful supports, delivered rapidly and directly to our primary producers.”