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Coronavirus Emergency shows how important our farmers are… And, how perilous their situation is! – Matt Carthy TD

6 April, 2020 - by Matt Carthy MEP


Coronavirus Emergency shows how it important our farmers are…

And, how perilous their situation is! – Matt Carthy TD

Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has said that the government needs to urgently announce a robust financial package that protects Irish Family Farmers during the Coronavirus emergency.

Deputy Carthy stated that while the current emergency highlights the importance of our country having the capacity to produce our own food, it also exposes just how perilous the situation of our family farmers is.

He said:

“Many Irish farmers were at desperation point before the Coronavirus emergency struck.  While they previously wondered whether they’d see the end of this decade they now fear that they may not see out the end of this year working their land.

“The Irish government needs to introduce an emergency financial package for our family farmers as a matter of urgency, as in this week.  It should include the distribution to family farmers of all unspent funds from the BEAM scheme and all other underspent resources within the Department of Agriculture, and other revenues if required.  The emergency package must be directed at those farmers who need it most, particularly in the beef and sheep sectors, and it must be a simple,  unbureaucratic scheme that directs monies into the hands of our family farmers who need it if they are to survive this crisis.

“The EU is acting too slow in response to this crisis.  This must be a case of asking for forgiveness rather than permission.  Farmers desperately need funds to maintain production.

“This emergency has shown how important our family farmers are – to our economy and to our communities.  We have a huge advantage in that we can produce more food on this island than we can consume.  That is an advantage that our farmers should be benefiting from.

“But, this emergency has also exposed how perilous a situation our farmers are in.  That the largest meat processor in this country has been importing Polish beef, at a time when the prices received by Irish beef farmers is on the floor, is mind-blowing and insulting.  That action is more than a kick in the teeth to our farmers and simply reinforces the need for the Meat industry to be reigned in by the new government when in place.

“This is not a time for excuses or complications.  This is a time to support our family-farmers who, just as they were after the financial crash, will be pivotal in any recovery we experience after the Covid-19 crisis.  If they are to play that role they need support, and they need it now!”

ENDS

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