Minister Creed has questions to answer over fodder crisis – Kenny
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine Martin Kenny has slammed the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed for allowing this fodder crisis, which is now a national emergency, develop over the last six months.
Deputy Kenny said:
“The Minister must take responsibility for dire situation that farmers find themselves in now. Repeated requests for him to act and prevent a national emergency like we have now, fell on deaf ears as he spun us the same story that there was enough fodder in the country and that his Department was monitoring the situation.
“The Minister and his Department have serious questions to answer as to how they allowed the fodder crisis become so serious if his Department was monitoring the situation. Everyone knew that farmers failed to get second cuts of silage last August and September. Everyone knows it has been raining since last July and livestock had to be housed early. We all know that it has being an exceptionally long winter. Anyone who has a lawn knows there is no grass growth.
“It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there was going to be an issue with fodder supplies. However, the extent of the Minister’s analysis of the fodder crisis was monitoring the advertisements of hay and silage on done deal, hardly what one would expect from a Minister for Agriculture living up to his responsibilities.
“The fodder transport scheme that the Minister introduced was a shambles and has only made the fodder crisis worse. I have consistently called for the minister to provide a meal voucher scheme so that farmers can stretch scarce supplies of hay and silage with concentrates.
“There is two main issues facing farmers and these are getting access to fodder and finance to purchase fodder. Thankfully, the co-ops took the initiative to import fodder. I am now once again calling for the Minister to provide financial assistance to farmers so that they can purchase fodder.”