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Gildernew hosts NSMC meeting at Enniskillen Campus

30 April, 2008


Sinn Féin Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA (DARD) has met with Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF), Mary Coughlan TD, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (DCRGA), Eamon O'Cuiv TD and Environment Minister Arlene Foster MLA (DOE) at the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) Agricultural Sector meeting in County Fermanagh.

Minister Gildernew hosted today's NSMC meeting at the college of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise's (CAFRE) Enniskillen Campus. At the latest meeting the Ministers discussed a range of issues, including co-operation on animal health and welfare, rural development, free movement of animals, plant health and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform.

Speaking after the meeting Minister Gildernew said:

"We have had another very constructive meeting of the NSMC agriculture sector and we have made steady progress on a number of issues covered by the sector.

"As these NSMC meetings develop, we continue to move towards the free movement of animals across the island and a working draft of an all-island health strategy. Similarly as the Rural Development plans north and south begin their roll-out I am very keen to maximise the opportunities that are on offer for rural communities on both sides of the border. If we can identify any projects or initiatives which can enhance border communities lives we will endeavour to deliver.

"The NSMC sectoral meetings provide a good opportunity to explore all Ireland opportunities and work together for the better of all our people. In the interim, I plan to meet with Minister Coughlan again in the near future to keep the co-operation on animal health a high priority."

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. The previous North South Ministerial Meeting (NSMC) on the agriculture sector was held in County Donegal in October 2007.

2. For more information visit the: http://www.northsouthministerialcouncil.org

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