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Oireachtas committee endorses Sinn Féin report on future of Farming and Fishing in West of Ireland

13 May, 2009 - by Martin Ferris TD

The Oireachtas All Party Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has this morning endorsed compiled by Martin Ferris TD on the Future of Farming and Fishing in the West of Ireland. The report calls for the reversal of all the Government’s budget cutbacks in the agriculture sector and for the complete reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

In preparing the report the Sinn Féin Deputy travelled the length of the West Coast and carrying out an extensive survey of Farmers and Fishermen in the West as well as receiving hundreds of submissions from interested parties. The report will now be sent to the cabinet with a call from the committee for a full debate in the Dáil.

Speaking today Deputy Ferris said; "I am delighted that the committee has endorsed this report. Some of the findings are truly shocking, for instance the inequality present in the allocation of the Single Farm Payments shows that 60% of farmers in the west believe their situation has gotten worse since introduction of the Single Farm Payment.

"The report also shows that jobs and the economy are major issues facing rural Ireland. This must be addressed by the Government with the introduction of a job retention and creation package.

"The submissions made to me during the compiling of this report are extremely valuable coming from the front line as they are. What they show is that the Fishing quota system is systematically unfair and that there is an overwhelming demand for fundamental reform of the common fisheries policy.

"The report also shows that the farming community believe that there are many ways out of this current crisis. This will require a Greater emphasis on LEADER projects for rural job creation for example.

"However beyond any shadow of a doubt the overwhelming response which we received from the Farming and Fishing communities up and down the west coast is that this Government must reverse their budget cuts." ENDS

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