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Farming & Fisheries

ICMSA reiterates farm pressures to Taoiseach

June 15th, 2024 9:50 AM

By Southern Star Team

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THE family farm model which has been the social, economic and demographic ‘spine’ of West Cork is facing unprecedented challenges and confidence in farming as a viable way of life is under threat, the president of the ICMSA has told Taoiseach Simon Harris.

The ICMSA has strong membership particularly in the milk-producing areas of West Cork and ICMSA president Denis Drennan met with the Taoiseach to discuss the serious short and long term challenges facing the agriculture sector that required speedy and concerted responses from both Government and the EU, Mr Drennan said.

‘We addressed a number of key issues with An Taoiseach including Budget 2025, climate action and agriculture, the Nitrates derogation, the future of CAP, live exports, Mercusor and Government engagement with the farm sector,’ said Mr Drennan. ‘The Taoiseach gave a commitment to improving engagement with farmers and working collaboratively to deal with the emergency situations we are facing.   This is welcome, but frankly more engagement will not suffice; we need action and a whole series of measures that will stop the draining away of confidence and investment from the one area in which Ireland indisputably is a world-leader: farming and sustainable food production.’

The ICMSA hjas asked the Taoiseach to deliver on the Programme for Government commitment to introduce an income volatility measure for farmers, to introduce a 70% grant for slurry storage investments, greater flexibility regarding TAMS and – most critically - to ensure that Ireland retains its nitrates derogation.  ‘We welcome the Taoiseach’s commitment to play an active role in relation to the retention of the derogation and the need for a whole-of-sector approach to ensure the retention of our largest indigenous industry delivering economic activity in every townland in Ireland,’ said Mr Drennan.

‘We have to believe that the Taoiseach will carry through on that commitment to engage and work collaboratively towards the goals that we all see. The alternative is that steady month-on-month draining away of the confidence and future that will have the most serious ramifications for the rural areas and for our indigenous exports.’

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