October 11, 2023
Minister must engage with stakeholders on urgent supports needed for tillage sector – Claire Kerrane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Claire Kerrane TD, has called on the Minister for Agriculture to engage with stakeholders such as the Irish Grain Growers Group on what is needed to urgently support the tillage sector.

Speaking following the Minister’s additional €8 million allocation for the tillage sector in yesterday’s Budget, Teachta Kerrane said:

“Last week’s announcement of €7.148m for the tillage sector under the EU Agricultural Reserve did not go down well with the Tillage Sector.

“There was widespread criticism that the allocation is nowhere near what is needed given the very real crisis for tillage farmers this year.

“Given the reaction to last week’s announcement, I am urging Minister McConalogue to meet and engage with stakeholders on how best to spend the €8m announced in yesterday’s Budget.

“This money needs to get to tillage farmers urgently – as of yet there is no plan for when this will be. This is especially urgent given the funding announced last week will not be paid until January.

“I am also calling on the Minister to seek greater funding from the EU under the Agricultural Reserve for tillage farmers to increase the amount announced last week.

“His Department should also be looking at the €150 million of unspent funds under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve to see if a way can be found to support the tillage sector under this, rather than returning it to Europe unspent.

“The Government has set a target to increase the area under tillage crops to 400,000ha by 2030, this will not happen if existing tillage farmers are not listened to and supported now. Instead, we’ll be seeing an exit from tillage.”

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