Casey endorses emergency fodder plan
A Wicklow TD has endorsed the newly-launched Fianna Fáil ten point emergency plan to combat the fodder and income crisis facing farmers.
Deputy Pat Casey called on the Government to introduce a hardship fund to help Wicklow farmers who have been worst hit by the events of the past year.
'The Government must at once bring forward a nationally financed hardship fund to help Wicklow farmers who have been severely impacted by the fodder crisis, escalating costs, falling cattle prices and extreme weather conditions all year. This would provide funding to support farmers sourcing feed and fodder and deal with mounting input costs,' said Deputy Casey.
He stressed that farmers are 'living on the breadline' and the additional funding they have received is simily a 'token' compare to what has been provided to their counterparts in other countries.
'For example, the Swedish government is helping its struggling farmers by allocating €117 million to cover feed shortages for livestock and income loss. Germany is committing over €300 million to its farmers in supports,' he said.
He raised the issue of cash-flow which is already under pressure for so many Wicklow farmers.
'Many Wicklow farmers' cash flow is already under severe pressure and low-cost credit is critical to helping them survive. Therefore, the Government must immediately introduce a new low interest fodder and income loan crisis fund to help farmers pay down debts incurred.
'Delivery to date on the €25 million low cost Brexit loan scheme for farmers and fishermen, announced in October 2017, has been inept to say the least. The fact that it has yet to be opened tells its own story,' he said.