Penrose calls for subsidy for farmers in face of fodder crisis
Labour spokesperson on Agriculture, Willie Penrose TD, has called on the Government to provide a subsidy for farmers struggling as a result of the current fodder crisis to enable them to purchase alternative food stuff or import fodder for their livestock.
Deputy Penrose said:
“This has been an exceptionally long and harsh winter for farmers right across the country, with prolonged periods of bad weather.
“By now, most farmers nationwide would typically have their livestock out, but are being hampered by the weather conditions, significantly reduced soil temperatures and an amalgamation of other factors, which has led to this current fodder shortage.
“Even farmers in my own constituency in the Midlands would normally have around a five-week surplus supply and be in a position to assist others less fortunate, but are now struggling themselves and have less than two weeks available supply.
“Farmers will now have to purchase alternative food stuff and feed, and in order to ensure the supply of roughage required, will have to import fodder from abroad at this stage.
“With many farmers already financially stretched following the harsh winter, the Government must now engage in a collaborative way with all the stakeholders, including the farmers and their representatives, to ensure that a financial subvention is forthcoming to help in this regard.
“I would also urge the co-operatives to provide assistance, and in this regard together with the main financial lenders to provide credit at competitive costs, and in effect, assist farmers in need by accepting lesser margins.”