Collins calls on Creed to act now to alleviate tillage crisis

INDEPENDENT West Cork TD Michael Collins is calling on Minister Michael Creed is to meet with representatives from the tillage community, “The Minister needs to meet with these farmers immediately and must provide fair supports through the Weather Aid Package for crop losses in the 2016 harvest,”Deputy Collins said.

“I am disappointed that Minister Creed did not take the opportunity to speak with a delegation of grain farmers who travelled to the Department of Agriculture in Dublin last week and held a protest to highlight their situation.

“This IFA Sit-In protest, inside the Department of Agriculture, came about due to the frustration experienced by the grain growers from across the country that have suffered huge losses and are still waiting for the Department for Agriculture to announce a rescue package.

“These are families have seen their income slashed,” Deputy Collins said, “2016 was the fourth year in a row that tillage farmers have suffered from low grain prices. This coupled with the bad weather along the South and West Coast has created a crisis in the sector.

“This issue has been raised by myself and others in the Dáil on several occasions and yet the Minister still hasn’t address this dire situation,’ Deputy Collins continued. Minister Creed must act now and provide a rescue package for these farmers and their families.

“It is beyond me why Minister Creed refused to meet with these farmers in the first place. This reminds me of the actions of the then Minister for Agriculture the late Charlie Haughey when he refused to meet with the NFA over 50 years ago. This issue needs to be resolve immediately,” he concluded.