By Seamus O’Mahony
WE all have read and listened to so much at this point in time, throughout 2020, with regard to Covid 19, Brexit re-igniting with negative woes and facing shorter days with greater workloads for many of our readers.
It is important to keep in mind all that is good still, aspects that we can participate in still – remembering that ‘this too will pass’ and we’ll come out of it certainly more experienced under so many headings, a different society as we go about our lives once again in what will be a different world to what we knew it heretofore, but we are adaptable and resilient as a collective.
It is encouraging to see sites being identified for National Ploughing Championships 2021 once again and nominations for West Cork Farming Awards – that have been so important to many of our leading agri participants throughout West Cork over the past six years – being requested at present, albeit in a different format to the usual. The likes of these events still unite us as a collective in adopting to change and looking forward to when we, once again, can reconvene in the more personal setting.
Generally speaking, the feedback from our farming partners on the ground is positive for 2020 with the exception of tillage farmers
Our interaction with the farming community goes on: some of it has been remotely, but we can still chat and even more so than ever, via even more means of communication than ever thought likely. The digital world has evolved at a rapid pace, Zoom calls or variations of it, taking place across groups – connecting people in a safe way to carry on as best we can, while living with Covid-19.
I’d encourage anyone who has not used it, to embrace the change if possible and keep connected to what are many groups out there now – while we listen to people who have found new hobbies, common interests and are enjoying connectivity within their homes. We have seen primary school kids, GAA clubs, third-level colleges, co-op meetings, social groups, to name but a few, all embrace this change and benefit from it.
Farming has been a sector that, thankfully, has remained buoyant throughout this period of change, with production, processing and the availability of quality produce on our shelves in a pretty normal fashion. There is huge credit due to all concerned who have implemented changes and kept the sector running as smoothly.
Generally speaking, the feedback from our farming partners on the ground is positive for 2020 with the exception of tillage, who unfortunately have had a difficult harvest with poor weather conditions and price of product. Many sectors within farming, on the other hand, have performed well – with price of produce well-received, relative to previous years and a sense of reward for the many inputs deployed.
As we read a lot about global recession, our minds are soon drawn back to 2008 and the deep impact that downturn had on all our lives. However, a recent Central Bank report described this, intended recession, to be a different one under so many headings and we as a nation are in a far better place to counter what goes with it.
This indeed is evident out there also, where we see personal debt being far less, a huge amount of borrowing repaid over the past decade, more savings accumulated in banks and various financial institutions by most, greater sense of net worth based on assets and livestock held today relative to then, among other measures.
Our economy is deemed to be in a very strong position to borrow at very low cost of funds to shoulder the emergency plans that need to be implemented to keep our economy open for all.
So, in conclusion, as we all adapt to change and put our shoulder to the wheel once again, keep communicating with the relevant partners on the ground as every person and sector are adjusting. We all need to keep in sight the immediate concerns for the health of everyone and the sacrifices we all make individually will help get us to a post-Covid environment.
Seamus O’Mahony is a financial consultant with FDC Financial Services Ltd.