CORK South West TD, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has said that the decision by the Government to rule out the possibility of crisis funding for tillage farmers is hugely disappointing and will pose a threat to West Cork farmer’s economic viability.
“Fianna Fáil raised this issue in Dáil and we have been told by Minister Michael Creed that he did not believe the response to the myriad of issues being faced in the sector has been bad.”
“These comments are extraordinary and will be a smack in the face to the thousands of farmers, and their families in West Cork who have seen their land and crops destroyed by recent severe weather.
“Tillage farmers will feel especially let down by the Government, which has done nothing to support them during this difficult period”, said the Fianna Fáil TD.
“Since this crisis became apparent earlier this year, I and my colleagues in Fianna Fáil have been to the forefront in calling for the establishment of a crisis fund for farmers at risk of collapse.”
“I won’t be accepting Minister Creed’s response, and along with my colleagues in Fianna Fáil, will continue to campaign on this issue.”
“In 2010, when Fianna Fáil was last in government, former Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith established the Aid Scheme for Potato and Vegetable Crops for farmers who had their harvest damaged by frost.”
“This Government has continually dragged its heels when it comes to protecting farming families facing price volatility.”
“This is particularly worrying in the context of the recent severe weather and the fallout from Brexit. Tillage farmers have been worst hit by this summer’s torrential downpours.”
“Despite the commitment from Minister Creed to open a tillage TAMS scheme this autumn, it has now emerged that farmers will have to wait until 2017 before the scheme will take applications. This is deeply unfair, but typical of Fine Gael’s hands off approach to small family farmers,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.