April 20, 2022
MacManus spells out Irish fertiliser crisis to the Commission

MacManus spells out Irish fertiliser crisis to the Commission 
 
Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus, whilst speaking at a debate in the European Parliament’s Agricultural Committee, has outlined to representatives of the European Commission that Irish family farmers are in a desperate situation regarding fertiliser prices. 
 
Speaking after the debate, MacManus said: 
 
“Irish farmers have been watching the fertiliser markets for the last twelve months, waiting for a time to buy. Many assumed the COVID linked price inflation would subside in 2022, and therefore held off purchasing. The outbreak of the war in Ukraine has unfortunately punished those farmers severely for waiting, and they need immediate support. 
 
“The farmers I have spoken to said that early last year they were paying around €350 a tonne, which has now risen to over €900 and rising week on week. 
 
“The most obvious scenario is that farmers will use fertiliser more sparingly this year and therefore produce less food, hitting already miniscule profit margins. 
 
“We need to mobilise all tools available to alleviate the crises. The Commission should be working on securing supply from around the world. It must also finalise the removal of anti-dumping duties. 
 
 “The Irish Government must ensure that the €15 million earmarked for Ireland from the crisis reserve will be sufficiently targeted to assist those farmers who are in the most difficult position. Ireland must also make full use of the state aid flexibilities allowed to boost the level of relief provided to Irish farmers. 
 
“In the medium to long term, we need to investigate ways to reduce our dependence on nitrogen fertilisers, whether it be through organic alternatives or greater use of red and white clover. The crisis we are in is not of our making, worldwide COVID-19 inflation and Russia’s decision to unleash a brutal war on the Ukrainian people have put us in this perilous situation, but a failure to act by the European Commission and the Irish Government is what will prolong it. 
 
“Sinn Féin will continue pressing for swift relief for our primary producers as they struggle to keep affordable food on our tables”. ENDS

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