Rural community must be protected
Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has praised Sinn Féin Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew who visited Derry on Thursday to hear the concerns of people living and working in the rural area.
Ms Anderson said:
"I am very grateful to the Minister for agreeing to my request to come to the city to speak to people first-hand and listen to their views. There was a wide spectrum of stakeholders from the rural community at the meeting and the engagement was very positive.
"Michelle Gildernew is obviously very passionate about serving the needs of the rural community and I think that came across very strongly and was appreciated by the audience.
"She set out her aims as Agriculture Minister which include a reduction in the bureaucracy faced by farmers, a strategy for rural childcare, an alternative to PPS14, all-Ireland animal and plant health strategies, the development of a rural white paper to ensure the needs pf the rural community are catered for in policy development and the creation of Rural Champion to put the case for those living and working in the countryside.
"It is clear that the minister and Sinn Féin as a party views the prosperity of the rural community as a priority for government. After all, 40 percent of the North's population lives in rural areas, the agri-food industry is the biggest single industry in the north which exports to over 160 countries across the world.
"The rural community is very much the backbone of our society and is something which we must cherish and protect in the years ahead." ENDS