23 November 2017
By Mary Bermingham
A new report published by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, is the first step in sustainable future for Tillage Sector, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Cork based Senator, Tim Lombard, was speaking after the launch of the report this morning (Wednesday) in Leinster House. Senator Lombard was elected to Seanad Éireann from the Agricultural Panel last year.
Senator Lombard said: “The new report “The Future of the Tillage Sector in Ireland” contains 35 recommendations relating to the Tillage Sector here in Ireland and gives us a roadmap to develop and grow our Tillage industry.
“The key take away from the report is that our Tillage Sector needs to be sustainable both economically and environmentally.
“The report examines alternative diversification options and explores the possibility for greater concentration on diversification within tillage in the wider Agricultural sector.
“I was particularly pleased to see that the report recommends an updated review of the potential for a revival of the sugar beet industry for the production of Ethanol, a clean-burning fuel source.
“Another important recommendation was that Tillage farmers receive a fair price for their produce. Currently the price per tonne of malting barley is not sustainable.
“The farmers who produce this ingredient, a vital component in our brewing industry, are receiving less than 1% of the price of a pint for their endeavours.
“The report also stresses the importance of maintaining the CAP budget, but this funding needs to be used in a more targeted and effective manner for the benefit of all producers including tillage farmers.
“Access to finance, particularly low-cost finance, will be essential in helping farmers diversify, mitigate risk, and increase efficiency of production.
“We in Fine Gael know that agriculture is the heartbeat of the rural economy and schemes must be tailored to meet the challenges of farming on all types of land, across all sectors and on all sizes of farm holdings, including tillage.
“The next generation of farmers must be supported and Ireland positioned as the highest quality food producing nation in the world, based on innovation and sustainability,” the Fine Gael Senator said.