AGRICULTURE Minister Simon Coveney's decision to extend the deadline of a scheme that helps get feed to farmers has been welcomed by Fianna Fáil - despite the opposition party describing the move as a "climbdown".
Cork North West TD Michael Moynihan said that Minister Coveney still had lessons to learn from the fodder crisis following his decision to extend the Imported Fodder Transport Scheme until this Friday, May 17.
"The extension of the deadline was vital in light of the continuing hardship farmers in Cork are experiencing. Farmers would have been faced with purchasing bales of hay they may not need if the weather picks up next week. Their resources have already been stretched to the limit and wasting money on fodder they may not need was something that had to be acted upon," said Moynihan.
"The climbdown by the Minister will lift a huge weight off the shoulders of farmers in Cork, who have been under intense pressure in recent months," he said.
"While this move will provide temporary respite for farmers, co-ops and farming organisations; this doesn't hide the fact that longer term action is needed to prevent a similar crisis next year.
"Minister Coveney needs to learn the lessons from the fodder crisis and ensure the desperation many farmers in Cork and throughout the country experienced this year will not be repeated," Deputy Moynihan added.