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Ferris supports extension of Farm Waste Management Scheme

16 October, 2008

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD, has supported a Private Members motion calling for an extension to June 2009 of the Farm Waste Management Scheme. The scheme, set up to assist farmers in meeting the requirements of the Nitrates Directive, is due to end on December 31st.

The Kerry North TD also pointed to the economic benefits of the Farm Waste Management Scheme to the rural construction sector, and pointed out that budgetary cuts in the sector would have a detrimental impact.

Deputy Ferris said: "It is also undoubtedly the case that should the scheme be closed off that it will have a detrimental impact on the construction sector in rural areas. Many small local construction firms are obviously experiencing the affects of the downturn in house building and the on-farm works associated with the Waste Management Scheme has provided a much needed boost and in the process saved many local construction jobs.

"Therefore to extend the Scheme would represent a significant injection of money and confidence into the construction sector with all the other benefits that would bring for the local economy. So this is certainly an issue on which the Government ought to be making a strong stand in order to have the proposed deadline extended.

"Indeed on a more general note and in relation to the Budget's impact on agriculture, the Government is obviously not thinking on the lines suggested above. Cutting the money available for research and development through Teagasc may represent a short term revenue saving but in the long term the damage which this withdrawal of expertise from the farming sector will have may well outweigh those savings.

"Just as with the Farm Waste Management Scheme the cash investment which funding for Teagasc represents can have a multiplier effect throughout the rural economy by boosting farm investment, and in areas such as energy crop production encourage off farm enterprise in the processing of bio-fuels." ENDS

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