Farmers will struggle to recover from fodder crisis fallout warns Murphy
– Minister is playing catch-up as situation becomes an emergency –
Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy has called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to take urgent agent in relation to the ongoing fodder crisis. Deputy Murphy says the Minister’s failure to address the situation has had a direct impact on the severe conditions affecting farms.
“In many parts of my constituency farming is the main back bone of the economy and this fodder crisis is having a knock on effect on local business in our towns and villages. I along with our spokesperson on Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and others recently brought a motion before Dail Eireann pleading immediate Government intervention to deal with what I would now call an emergency situation, the motion was unopposed by Dáil Eireann.
“Despite warnings from my party and farm organisations as far back as September last year, the Minister ignored farmers and failed to take any concrete action to address the situation. As the bad weather continued through the winter, it increased pressure on fodder stocks as animals were being kept indoors and feed was being used up. Now that the crisis has reached emergency levels, it is not acceptable for the Minister to continue with his hands-off approach
“The Minister has been on the back foot once again in dealing with the ongoing fodder crisis. He has failed to deliver in relation to the meal voucher scheme which was recommended to help farmers access food for their stock as they cannot buy fodder. The weather continues to be very harsh and the lack of food for livestock will invariably have a huge financial impact in the coming months on the farmers.
“In my view, the transport subsidy scheme is an absolute farce. I do not believe it was ever meant to work. The silage is gone, the hay sheds are empty but the cattle sheds are full. For those in the suckler business, calves are being born. I have seen cows and calves on land on which there is no grass. The Minister knows that when farmers are forced to sell livestock at a time of crisis the livestock is bought on the conditions of the purchaser. If this happens, many farmers will not recover. They are already pressed owing to the terrible ground conditions. Farmers are in crisis and this is the last straw. We need action,” concluded Deputy Murphy.