“EU Committee vote a step in the right direction towards protections for Irish farmers” – Chris MacManus MEP
Sinn Féin MEP’s improvements voted through at Agriculture Committee
Chris MacManus, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands Northwest, has welcomed the efforts of the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee to endorse a number of recommendations to addresses the problems of availability and affordability of fertilisers in the European Union. MacManus and a majority of MEPs from the Committee voted in favour of MacManus’s amendments to the European Parliament’s position.
“The MEPs’ proposed changes to the draft recommendations contain many improvements on the Commission’s original communication on the affordability and availability of fertilisers,” said MacManus.
“These are the right steps towards the development of long-term, sustainable, fertiliser and soil nutrient strategies. The increase of input costs is having a detrimental impact on Irish agriculture and is undermining Irish farmers.”
Despite the recent fall in the price of natural gas, fertiliser companies are continuing to charge farmers extortionate prices. Improvements in the market have simply not filtered down to farmers.
“Make no mistake, corporate greed is responsible for this, and Irish farmers are suffering for it. This was one of the main reasons I tabled amendments to support the use and supply of organic fertilisers. Where possible, organic alternatives should help facilitate a domestic supply particularly to reduce dependency on the chemical fertiliser companies and imports.”
“There is a growing body of evidence that Irish farmers can benefit from moving in this direction. Some suckler farms who have started transitioning to organic fertiliser, in the wake of rising costs have already made savings of up to €50/ac, so there are real alternatives.”
MacManus also highlighted some shortcomings of the proposals adopted by the Committee. “Whilst I am pleased that MEPs voted in favour of improving supports to farmers, there were aspects missing that I intend to seek rectification on in the plenary session on biogas deployment” ENDS