POOR leadership from the outgoing Minister for Agriculture has done nothing to ease the crisis in the beef sector.
That’s according to FF TD, Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony who said that ‘farmers throughout West Cork have faced the most difficult 14 months on record as the beef crisis rolls on with little sign of easing’.
‘There are numerous policy changes that the government could have taken to support beef farmers, but it didn’t,’ she said. ‘Fine Gael was slow to act on supporting live exports, its efforts to increase lairage capacity was disappointing and not every dairy bull calf that could have been exported was.
‘It took a Fianna Fáil motion to bring this issue to the government’s attention, but by that stage, and after nine months of crisis, any action from Fine Gael was too little too late.
‘I am disappointed by the restricted schemes that Fine Gael introduced. The Beam scheme, a payment introduced as an exceptional aid measure for farmers, was too restrictive in its application process for farmers,’ added the Cork deputy.
She stressed that the next government has to ‘fight for a fairer CAP’ in Brussels.’
‘The last number of years have been difficult in the beef sector,’ she said. ‘It is imperative we have a Minister who fully supports those in the sector and shows real leadership, and only Fianna Fáil can deliver for farmers,’ the Bandon-based election candidate concluded.