CORK South West TD Margaret Murphy O’Mahony claimed this week that the Minister for Agriculture has left local tillage farmers reeling after he announced that no emergency fund will be created.
The sector has been badly hit this year because of unusually wet weather this summer. ‘Minister Creed either doesn’t care about the pressure that tillage farmers are under, or doesn’t understand what’s happening. Either way, it’s the farmers who are suffering,’ said the Fianna Fáil Deputy.
‘This has been a particularly bad summer for these farmers, whose lands have been left saturated by heavier-than-normal rainfall. Crops have failed as a result of the conditions, and the economic futures of these farms are in doubt.
‘Since early September, I and my colleagues in Fianna Fáil have called for a fund for these farmers. Not only are they dealing with a bad harvest, but they, like the rest of the farming community, are contending with serious cashflow issues.
‘The Minister’s failure to grasp the seriousness of this situation is shocking. He previously indicated that he would not make a decision on a fund until the salvage operation was complete – many farmers have now been left in a desperate situation and the Minister is still refusing to budge on the issue.‘There are very few options available to farmers. Many will now be forced to look elsewhere for funding to keep their businesses afloat with banks and credit unions set to be inundated with credit applications,’ added Murphy O’Mahony. ‘This isn’t sustainable in the long term and I really do believe that the Minister has a duty to intervene and is blatantly abdicating this obligation.
‘The Irish Government is failing tillage farmers. Other EU governments, such as the French, have brought this issue to the table for discussion, but we have seen no action from Minister Creed.
’The Government must accept the responsibility will lie with them and them alone, if Cork farmers go to the wall because they couldn’t access an emergency fund. No one prospers when rural Ireland fails,’ concluded Ms Murphy O’Mahony.