Minister Creed meeting with protesting grain farmers “long overdue”

MINISTER Michael Creed’s decision to meet with a delegation of tillage farmers is long over due and a rescue package for these farmers and their families must be put in place immediately.

Deputy Michael Collins has welcomed the Minister for Agriculture’s decision to meet with tillage farmers who have been involved in a sit-in protest at the Department of Agriculture since last Wednesday July 5th.

‘It is high time that Minister Creed has decided to meet these farmers and although I welcome the meeting, I am urging Minister Creed to give some substantial support to these grain farmers who suffered great loss during the 2016 harvest,’ Deputy Collins said. There are farmers and their families under severe pressure in West Cork and across the country who are dependent on tillage for their incomes and I urge Minister Creed to act now to support these families.’

The delegation is to meet with the Minister on Wednesday morning (July 12th) and have agreed to call off their protest.

‘Although I commend the farmers who have not left the Department of Agriculture for the past six days, I hope they will not have to return to protest again anytime soon,’ Deputy Collins continued. This is an extremely serious issue for the tillage farmers and their families. These are families have seen their income slashed.  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. A crisis that this government must address immediately.’