Fodder problem must be addressed at European level

Mairead McGuinness, Midlands MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament pictured at the Tullamore Show on Sunday with Macra na Feirme members, Denis Duggan Chief Executive, James Healy President, Jennifer Keegan, Agriculture Policy Officer, Derrie Dillon Agriculture and Rural Affairs Manager.

Mairead McGuinness, Midlands MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament pictured at the Tullamore Show on Sunday with Macra na Feirme members, Denis Duggan Chief Executive, James Healy President, Jennifer Keegan, Agriculture Policy Officer, Derrie Dillon Agriculture and Rural Affairs Manager.

The current fodder crisis is a European wide problem that needs to be addressed at European level as well as at national level, Mairead McGuinness MEP for the Midlands and first Vice-President of the European Parliament said today.

The MEP said drought is causing severe problems for farmers throughout the country.

"I will be raising the need for a European response when the Parliament returns later this month. In fact, for many countries, this is the third year in a row in which they are experiencing severe drought conditions. The situation is such that we cannot assume that Ireland will readily be able to import sufficient fodder.," Ms. McGuinness commented.

The MEP said the situation points to the need to at least maintain the current EU agriculture budget.

"Currently, a cut in the budget is on the cards with some member states unwilling to commit more money to fund new policy initiatives, leading to post Brexit pressure on the CAP budget.

"I will be insisting that such an approach needs to be reviewed given the weather related problems besetting large parts of EU agriculture.

"Higher costs on farmers and lower yields point to lower incomes on farms and related stress and pressure on farm families," the MEP concluded.

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