Kerry Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has said family farms are being blackguarded and neglected.
Speaking in the Dáil during the week Deputy Ferris said that he came from a small family farm and that it is something he is proud of.
Blackguarded and Neglected
“But, the small family farm is being blackguarded and neglected,” Deputy Ferris continued.
“The family farm is an integral part of rural Ireland and Irish society. Making it sustainable is a key aim for the future of our country.
“We cannot allow circumstances to arise where only the big, industrialised farmer can survive and the small family farm goes to the wall for lack of foresight and planning to avoid crises.
Losses during Crisis
“Sinn Féin calls on the Government to properly compensate and support our farming community for their losses during this crisis.
“We have been calling for action on this issue for years. Since last September, we warned the Minister of the number of farmers who had been unable to get second cuts of silage and had to house cattle early due to severe rain in August and September.”
Lots of Fodder
“Last October we warned of a looming crisis but our concerns were dismissed by Minister Creed who continued to claim that there was no crisis and that there was lots of fodder in the country.
“In December, farmers, including some from my own area in Kerry contacted Teagasc in relation to the fodder shortages, with the majority of them having a 50% shortfall.
Kicking the Can
“We warned that the Fodder Action Group that was proposed was kicking the can down the road but our warnings fell on deaf ears.
“In January of this year we called again on the Minister to provide vouchers to help subsidise the cost of meal.
A Quality Feed
“This is a quality feed of which farmers can be assured and they’ll know what they’re feeding to their animals.
“Sinn Féin has been consistent in raising this issue with the Minister and he has routinely ignored our calls,” Deputy Ferris concluded.
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