'There is no national fodder crisis': Creed
Farm organisations are calling for a "more workable" and less restrictive fodder scheme.
The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) protested outside the Department of Agriculture office in Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim yesterday calling for a more practical fodder scheme that would include a meal voucher and that the 100km zone to source fodder outside the region should be changed.
Speaking at the protest, INHFA president Colm O' Donnell called for the Fodder Action Group to reconvene.
"This package was not what was proposed by the stakeholders' action group. Minister Creed must now call those stakeholders back to adjust elements of the package to make it workable for affected farmers."
Following a meeting with Teagasc officials in Longford on Friday, the ICSA is urging farmers to complete a Forage Budget form through their local Teagasc office or FAS-approved advisor in order for the scheme to be fully activated in all affected counties.
The ICSA claimed farmers who wish to access the scheme can only do so if enough of their county neighbours also expressed an urgent need for fodder supplies.
ICSA Sligo chairman Gabriel Gilmartin said: "The Department needs to reconsider the overly restrictive parameters of the scheme and open it up to any farmer who needs fodder."
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed told the Farming Independent that the fodder scheme is nationally available and that he doesn't believe there is a national fodder crisis.