MINISTER REFUSES TO BACKDATE FODDER TRANSPORT SUBSIDY – BRENDAN SMITH TD

FullSizeRender.jpg

Cavan/Monaghan Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith has expressed his disappointment with the refusal of the Agriculture Minister to backdate the fodder transport subsidy scheme.

In a Parliamentary Question in Dáil Éireann Deputy Brendan Smith had asked the Minister for Agriculture if payment would be made to farmers in respect of the transport costs of purchased fodder in circumstances in which farmers had to source fodder supplies long distances from their farms and such supplies were bought in advance of the introduction of the transport subsidy; if his attention had been drawn to the fact that some farmers in areas such as counties Cavan and Monaghan had to buy fodder from early 2018 due to cattle being housed early in the Autumn of 2017 and the lack of a second cut of silage necessitated the purchase of fodder for many farmers from January 2018 onwards; if such cases would be included under the transport scheme; and if he would make a statement on the matter.

Minister Creed in his reply to Deputy Brendan Smith stated:-

“In response to the problems experienced in parts of the West and North-West in the late autumn and winter I took a number of steps to address issues around the availability of fodder. I introduced a targeted ‘Fodder Transport Support measure’ on 29th January 2018 to provide additional assistance to those livestock farmers in parts of the West and North West severely affected by on-going fodder shortages. The main purpose of the measure was to support the cost of transporting fodder between those areas where it was plentiful and those where it was scarce.

The continuation of cold wet weather throughout March resulted in a serious delay to the onset of spring. Grass growth remained negligible, ground stayed wet and livestock had to remain housed in many cases. This resulted in the fodder problem extending countrywide with a consequent tightening of fodder availability nationally.

In response, I extended the Fodder Transport Support measure to all counties and also introduced a Fodder Import Support Measure, to ensure that there was adequate fodder available to feed the national herd.

However it is not possible to retrospectively include farmers as eligible for support during the period in advance of the introduction of these schemes” concluded the Agriculture Minister in his Dáil reply.

“Once again farmers in Cavan/Monaghan are being penalised because of the delay in the Agriculture Minister introducing the transport subsidy scheme even though the likelihood of fodder shortages was pointed out to him through Dáil questions and debates in the Autumn of 2017. Farmers in the border region are also being affected by the Minister’s refusal to apply the subsidy scheme to fodder imported from Northern Ireland” stated Brendan Smith TD.

ENDS

APRIL 26 2018

______________________________________________

For Written Answer on : 25/04/2018

Question Number(s): 191 Question Reference(s): 18294/18

Department: Agriculture, Food and the Marine

______________________________________________

QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if payment would be made to farmers in respect of the transport costs of purchased fodder in circumstances in which farmers had to source fodder supplies long distances from their farms and such supplies were bought in advance of the introduction of the transport subsidy; if his attention had been drawn to the fact that some farmers in areas such as counties Cavan and Monaghan had to buy fodder from early 2018 due to cattle being housed early in the Autumn of 2017 and the lack of a second cut of silage necessitated the purchase of fodder for many farmers from January 2018 onwards; if such cases would be included under the transport scheme; and if he would make a statement on the matter. – BRENDAN SMITH TD

REPLY

 In response to the problems experienced in parts of the West and North-West in the late autumn and winter I took a number of steps to address issues around the availability of fodder. I introduced a targeted ‘Fodder Transport Support measure’ on 29th January 2018 to provide additional assistance to those livestock farmers in parts of the West and North West severely affected by on-going fodder shortages. The main purpose of the measure was to support the cost of transporting fodder between those areas where it was plentiful and those where it was scarce.

The continuation of cold wet weather throughout March resulted in a serious delay to the onset of spring. Grass growth remained negligible, ground stayed wet and livestock had to remain housed in many cases. This resulted in the fodder problem extending countrywide with a consequent tightening of fodder availability nationally.

In response, I extended the Fodder Transport Support measure to all counties and also introduced a Fodder Import Support Measure, to ensure that there was adequate fodder available to feed the national herd.

However it is not possible to retrospectively include farmers as eligible for support during the period in advance of the introduction of these schemes.

 

 

 

Advertisements