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Thousands of Donegal farms struggling to cope with cuts – Doherty

3 November, 2009 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Speaking in the Seanad this week Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has called on the Minister for Agriculture to show compassion to the 2,233 Donegal farmers who have been shut out from the REPS 4 scheme.

Senator Doherty made the plea in the Seanad to the Junior Minister for Agriculture, calling on Government to reverse cuts on farming which is leading to the destruction of small rural farms and slowly driving traditional farming out of existence.

Senator Doherty said:

“Agriculture is the key to this economy and is the lifeline for many rural communities. However last year’s budget cuts on agriculture have left many family farms struggling for survival.

“Attacks or closure of schemes such as Installation Aid, disadvantaged areas grant and suckler support and the Early Retirement Scheme has left question marks over the future of the industry.

“Donegal has taken the brunt of these cuts and the closure of REPS 4 by this Government means that of the 7,900 farmers in Donegal 2,233 will be excluded from future payments. They are quite literally being forced out of business.

“This Government’s policy is forcing farmers off the land and into the dole queues. It is ending a traditional way of life in rural communities and threatens the very backbone of this economy.

“The Government’s refusal to even consider other cost saving propositions such as those presented by my party and the IFA reinforces the fact that this Government is no friend of rural Ireland.” ENDS

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