Speaking after hearing the outcome of the long awaited second meeting of the Fodder Action Group in Sligo today (Monday), Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy said:
“The disappointing outcome is a testament to the Government’s indifference to the now severe crisis facing many Irish farmers.
“It was widely anticipated that Minister Creed was going to announce the implementation of a fodder transport subsidy scheme.
“Although the most appropriate solution to the crisis is a feed/meal subsidy, the transportation subsidy would have been an acknowledgement to fearful farmers that their call for intervention is not falling on deaf ears.
“We are now left facing a situation where 85% of farmers in the North West are without sufficient fodder, with a large proportion having less than half of what is required.
“A price of €50 for a bale of silage is now becoming the norm. With the added cost of transport this is simply unaffordable.
“Farmers are being backed into a corner where selling good quality suckler cows is the only option to reduce the fodder required and to make some cash available for feed.”
“It is untenable for Minister Creed to sit on his hands a second longer on this issue. I am therefore calling on the Minister to, with immediate effect, announce a €40/t feed/meal subsidy.
Failing that, a transport subsidy would be welcomed to begin to deliver some long overdue relief.
“Anything less from the Minister will send a message loud and clear that this government cannot be trusted to protect the livelihoods of Irish farmers”.