Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has said that protecting the family farm will be a top priority for her party in government.
Ms McDonald was speaking from the constituency of Cavan-Monaghan today where she was meeting with farmers to hear first-hand the issues facing farming families.
The Sinn Féin President said;
“The family farm is at the very heart of agriculture in Ireland and unfortunately, due to the policies of successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael led governments, the Irish family farm is at risk.
“Unless urgent corrective measures and supports are provided, many farmers will simply be unable to remain active on their land and new entrants will not be able to join the sector.
“Sinn Féin in government would act. We would establish a Commission on the Future of the Family Farm, whose job it would be to produce, within a short timeframe, solutions and proposals for protecting and advancing a model of farming with the family farm at the very centre.
“Today, I told family farmers very directly and very sincerely, that Sinn Féin is on their side. I told them that we will work up for them in government and we will do right by them. I asked them to vote for Matt Carthy and Pauline Tully so that we are in a position to deliver.
“Sadly, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael led governments have implemented agriculture policy that is about enriching factories and retailers.
“Sinn Féin would change that. Our long term policy is about supporting a new and revitalised generation of family farmers. This can be the decade in which we put the family farm first and build a better future for our agricultural communities.”