The failure of Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to establish a fodder support scheme for farmers is “worrying and disappointing”, according to Fianna Fáil Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte.
The Fodder Action Group met this week but Minister Michael Creed refused to establish a fund for farmers affected by the fodder crisis. The failrure has been criticised by Dep Rabbitte, who said she was “struggling to understand” the Minister’s reluctance “when farmers in Galway and along the west coast are at pains to emphasise the serious impact the fodder crisis is having”.
According to Dep Rabbitte, the crisis is resulting in farmers having to buy feed and have it transported to their farms at “substantial costs”, putting a “massive strain on their finances”. She said this comes at a time when the Department of Agriculture recorded a €78 million underspend last year. She is calling for some of that money to be used to help those farmers most affected.
A recent Teagasc survey revealed that 85 per cent of farmers affected by fodder shortages in the north-west region alone have less than half of the fodder they need on average for the winter period. Dep Rabbitte said this was “not sustainable” and that the Minister “cannot continue to ignore this crisis any longer”.