State 'opening cheque book' could further fuel soaring fodder prices - Minister warns
Fianna Fail demand fund for affected farmers.
The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has warned that using state funds to support farmers in difficulty due to fodder shortages could further fuel the crisis.
In a debate on the issue in the Dail yesterday, Minister Creed said he acknowledged the difficulties faced by any farmer who has been farming on heavy ground in a year in which there has been exceptionally high rainfall.
“I am not going to get into the difference of opinion about whether there is sufficient fodder in the country, but the Teagasc assessment on the pasture sward is that 2017 was, in fact, a record year for grass growth and that there is sufficient fodder in the country.
“The problem is that we have surplus in certain areas and a deficit in other areas.
Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue says the Government is walking us into another fodder crisis because it is failing to take action to respond to the issue.
He is calling on Minister Michael Creed to establish a fund for affected farmers.
Deputy McConalogue, along with seven Fianna Fáil colleagues, tabled a special topical debate in the Dáil, to emphasise the urgency of the issue.
However, Minister Creed stressed that it is not the case that my Department has not been proactive on this issue.