FF Calls On Minister Creed To Approve Funding For Farmers

Fianna Fáil has called on Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to approve funding to help farmers recover from the recent cold weather.

The party's Spokesperson on Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, said an application for a permanent weather compensation fund should be included by the Government in the next Rural Development Programme submitted to Brussels.

Storm Emma and the exceptional snowfall last week caused severe conditions for farmers and it is thought it might take some weeks, if not months, for those to recover their losses.

Deputy McConalogue said: "The agriculture sector has been very badly hit by last week’s weather event.

"Dairy farmers had problems getting their milk to creameries with some having to dispose of their milk stock because collections couldn’t be made. Sheep and cattle farmers lost animals to the almost unprecedented snowdrifts, while others are concerned about fodder stocks as animals had to be housed for days. Some farms saw sheds and greenhouses collapse under the weight of the snow – resulting in tens of thousands of euro in damage.

"There is no doubt that climate change is impacting on our weather patterns. Flooding is becoming more prevalent and last week we saw snow storms unlike anything witnessed in decades.

"Despite the increasing frequency of adverse and unusual weather events, the government refused the option of including a scheme in Ireland’s 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme (RDP), which would have provided an opportunity to compensate farmers from losses to agricultural land and production caused by bad weather. This was a very serious miscalculation, which has left farmers without an annual compensation scheme.

"An application for a permanent weather compensation fund should be included in the next RDP amendment submitted to Brussels by the government. The farmers affected by Storm Emma will need assistance to get back on their feet and Minister Creed should step up to the mark.”


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