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‘Save Irish Farming’ rallies kick-off around the country

IFA says farmers have been ‘unfairly targeted’ in the climate debate

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Farmers gather ahead of march in Cavan. Photo: IFA

Farmers gather ahead of march in Cavan. Photo: IFA

IFA farmers in the Ulster / North Leinster region gather for the rally this morning. Photo: IFA

IFA farmers in the Ulster / North Leinster region gather for the rally this morning. Photo: IFA

A large crowd of farmers prepare for IFA rally in Cavan

A large crowd of farmers prepare for IFA rally in Cavan

IFA president Tim Cullinan, Cavan chair Elizabeth Ormiston and IFA Ulster / North Leinster chair Nigel Renaghan lead rally in Cavan

IFA president Tim Cullinan, Cavan chair Elizabeth Ormiston and IFA Ulster / North Leinster chair Nigel Renaghan lead rally in Cavan

John Beglin Cavan IFA rural development officer rallies with Sarah Hanley IFA pig and poultry executive. Photo: IFA

John Beglin Cavan IFA rural development officer rallies with Sarah Hanley IFA pig and poultry executive. Photo: IFA

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Farmers gather ahead of march in Cavan. Photo: IFA

Today the country’s largest farming organisation will hold a series of regional rallies in response to mounting political and policy pressure related to climate change that IFA says has “unfairly” targeted food production.

IFA president Tim Cullinan insists that Government would be making “a massive strategic mistake” if farmers are forced to cut production in this country.

Farmers will join the rallies starting in Cavan this morning at 7.00am, moving to Roscommon at 11.00am, Portlaoise at 4.00pm and concluding in Cork at 8.00pm.

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IFA president Tim Cullinan, Cavan chair Elizabeth Ormiston and IFA Ulster / North Leinster chair Nigel Renaghan lead rally in Cavan

IFA president Tim Cullinan, Cavan chair Elizabeth Ormiston and IFA Ulster / North Leinster chair Nigel Renaghan lead rally in Cavan

IFA president Tim Cullinan, Cavan chair Elizabeth Ormiston and IFA Ulster / North Leinster chair Nigel Renaghan lead rally in Cavan

The farm lobby group leader says they are looking to negotiate a plan at farm level with Government that safeguards the viability of farmers.

“Whether it’s the shape of the next CAP, carbon budgeting or sectoral emissions ceilings, it’s time Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael stood up to the Greens. Their ideological opposition to the grass-based farming we have in this country must be challenged.

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IFA farmers in the Ulster / North Leinster region gather for the rally this morning. Photo: IFA

IFA farmers in the Ulster / North Leinster region gather for the rally this morning. Photo: IFA

IFA farmers in the Ulster / North Leinster region gather for the rally this morning. Photo: IFA

“Farmers have been unfairly targeted in the climate debate. There is little or no consideration given to the role farmers play in climate action, and in sequestering carbon in particular.

“Now they tell us that when they are able to count the carbon farmers are removing from the atmosphere, the State is planning to steal those carbon credits,” he said.

“Those who want to regulate farmers out of business refuse to acknowledge that there will be carbon leakage from reducing production in Ireland.

“The global population is due to increase from 7.5 billion to 10 billion by 2050. If food is not produced in Ireland, it will have to be produced in other countries with a higher carbon footprint,” he said.

The IFA president said economic and social considerations have to come into play when deciding on the future of the economy.

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A large crowd of farmers prepare for IFA rally in Cavan

A large crowd of farmers prepare for IFA rally in Cavan

A large crowd of farmers prepare for IFA rally in Cavan

“The Government partners have not woken up to the economic and social consequences of Green Party demands for their utopian version of urban society. Our farming and food sector is the cornerstone of the rural economy and serves as an important counterpoint to development in cities and urban areas,” he said.

He said farmers would not accept a decision to push them aside when they have a valuable contribution to make. “Our very future is at stake. I’m asking farmers to turn out to save Irish farming.”

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John Beglin Cavan IFA rural development officer rallies with Sarah Hanley IFA pig and poultry executive. Photo: IFA

John Beglin Cavan IFA rural development officer rallies with Sarah Hanley IFA pig and poultry executive. Photo: IFA

John Beglin Cavan IFA rural development officer rallies with Sarah Hanley IFA pig and poultry executive. Photo: IFA

IFA actions come in advance of the publication of several key policy documents and targets that are set to have a dramatic impact on the shape of food production over the coming decades – including the country’s first carbon budget, Climate Action Plan 2021, the Land Use Review, Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan and new Nitrates Regulations.

The ultimate aim of the accumulative actions, targets, schemes and measures that will be outlined in these documents is to drastically reduce the agriculture sector’s carbon output as it is the country’s highest emitted sector accounting for 34pc of overall emissions.

The country’s current objective is to reduce overall emissions from agriculture by 51pc by 2030 compared to 2018 levels in a bid to achieve a greener and more more sustainable food production system.

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