MacManus highlights farmers’ concerns following protests
Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has said the concerns of farmers must be heeded following recent protests. The Midlands North-West MEP was speaking in a European Parliament debate in Strasbourg on empowering farmers and rural communities.
“I want to express solidarity with farmers who are feeling the pain of inflation, fuel costs, competition with imports from outside the EU, and lack of fair prices. These mounting challenges while they are being asked to do more, has reached a breaking point for many who are more concerned than ever for their family farms’ futures.”
“This was evident in the anger seen last week. However, these protests did not happen in a vacuum. Many of our farmers feel abandoned; many have lost faith in the system. We are obligated to help restore that faith, and all need to reassure and pay heed to their concerns.”
“As rural custodians they are expected to carry a large share of green initiatives like the Nature Restoration Law. They must be duly rewarded and compensated for such efforts.”
“It is vitally important that the Irish government in their national restoration plans adhere to the flexibility in the nature restoration law framework. This flexibility allows rewetting to be voluntary, with a new dedicated funding avenue outside of CAP. This can create a new income stream for farmers who will be involved in the implementation of the measures whilst not jeopardising any exiting CAP payments.”
“The government must also ensure that there is a socio-economic impact assessment as the EU accepted thanks to a Sinn Féin amendment. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the government must be fully transparent in the drafting of the national restoration plans, and ensure that farmers, fishers, foresters, business communities, civil society organisations, landowners, land users and the general public are fully engaged and consulted throughout the preparation, review and implementation of the process.
Sinn Féin, along with stakeholders will be putting in a submission to any consultation on the matter. ENDS