December 6, 2021
“High input prices makes case for sustainable solutions” – MacManus visits Monaghan sustainable farm

“High input prices makes case for sustainable solutions” – MacManus visits Monaghan sustainable farm
 
Following a visit to Siolta Chroi organic farm near Carrickmacross, Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has said that he believes we should take rising input costs as the impetus to change our production methods, to a more sustainable model. MacManus commented:
 
“Fertiliser prices are up over 30% and energy prices are up 22%, since September 2020. These  increases are outside a farmers control, but have a big impact on their overall cost of production.”
 
“Taking fertiliser firstly, Teagasc advices a number of ways to reduce costs, such as replacing the first application with water slurry or the implementation of white clover. On some dairy farms, white clover has resulted in savings between €2,000 and €4,000. “
 
“On the energy side, microgeneration on farms needs finalisation. Farms could be producing their own energy and selling surpluses back to the grid. You are really talking about micro-solar PV, micro-hydro, micro-wind and micro-renewable CHP. In 2018, Ireland ranked 23rd out of the EU-27 countries for renewable energy from agriculture, producing just 2.6% compared with the EU-27 average of 12.1%. “
 
“It is evident that the solutions are there and it makes economic sense to make the transition now. What farmers need is strong leadership from this government. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for the Micro-generation Support Scheme to be opened. “
 
“This government must understand that every delay, in times of high prices, means farmers being pushed closer to a cliff edge.” 
 
“In no other economic sector would it be common that only one third of enterprises are considered viable. Sinn Féin is committed reversing the tide on farm viability and transforming our family farm production model into the most environmentally and economically sustainable in the world.” 
 
MacManus concluded with a word of praise for the team at Siolta Croi, What Gareth, Karen and Conan have created here is a shining example of how we can create sustainable organic farming models across the island. We must support farms like this. It was a really interesting visit and I’d like to thank them for their warm hospitality.” ENDS
 
Pictured below from Left to Right Chris MacManus MEP & Cllr. Cathy Bennett with Conan Connolly, Garth Conlon and Karen Jeffares of Siolta Chroi 

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