27 January 2018
By Mary Bermingham
West Cork Independent Michael Collins TD has called on Agriculture Minister, Michael Creed, to immediately put in place measures to ensure that farmers who are enduring the brunt of the fodder crisis are supported.
‘Farmers across West Cork and indeed many parts of the country are once again facing into fodder shortage,’ Deputy Collins said. The added pressure of finding and paying for extra fodder for stock that have, in some cases, been housed since late September is already placing both financial, physical and psychological stress to farming families across the country’.
‘I am calling on the Department of Agriculture to immediately put in place a fodder transport subsidy in order to assist moving fodder to farmers affected by this crisis,’ Deputy Collins continued. Also an aid package for farmers to help with the purchase fodder and a system of livestock meal vouchers must be put in place immediately.’
‘The department must co-ordinate with the HSE to provide support system for farmers who might be under psychological stress because of the financial strain.
This situation should be monitored on a weekly basis, and further steps, such as the importation of additional fodder, may need to be taken.’
Deputy Collins also reminded Minister Micheal Creed TD that it is not only farmers who are facing a crisis due to the recent weather conditions.
‘There are fishermen and their families that are also facing a crisis having lost or sustained damage to valuable equipment due to Storm Ophelia including shrimp, crab and lobster pots, here along the south and west coast.’
‘I have brought these issues to the attention of the Taoiseach in the Dáil and a compensation package should be put in place for these fishermen, in order for them to be able to sustain their livelihoods. This is a critical issue for the fishermen, I am asking you for an update on exactly what the government is going to do for farmers and fishermen during this crisis.’