Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue has hit out at the Agriculture Minister for ruling out any possibility of an emergency fund for tillage farmers.
The sector has been badly hit this year because of unusually wet weather this summer.
The Donegal Deputy said it is absolutely disgraceful that Minister Creed is refusing to acknowledge the pressure that tillage farmers are under.
“This has been a particularly bad summer for these farmers, whose lands have been left saturated by heavy downpours. For many, this has been an exceptionally bad harvest as crops have failed as a result of the conditions.
“I have consistently called for a fund for these farmers, who are not only facing a harsh winter because they are dependent on a good harvest, but also because they are no contending with serious cash flow issues. The Minister’s failure to grasp the seriousness of this situation is shocking. He previously indicated that he would make a decision on a fund until the salvage operation was complete – many farmers have now been left in a desperate situation – and the Minister is still refusing to budge on the issue.
“Farmers will now be forced to look elsewhere for funding to keep their businesses afloat. It is deeply unfair that they may have to go to banks and other financial institutions and increase their credit burdens to ensure that they make it through the winter. The Minister has a duty to intervene and is blatantly abdicating this obligation.
“This is an extremely serious situation. The French Government has already raised it at EU level, but our own Government has been left wanting. This failure to get to grips the devastation that farmers are facing is further evidence of how out of touch this Minister has become”.Tags: