Ferris expresses concern about falling farm incomes
The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD, has expressed concern about a report that shows that farmers' incomes in Ireland fell by almost 11% last year. This contrasted with an overall average increase in farm incomes across the EU.
Deputy Ferris said, "The fact that farm incomes fell last year is extremely worrying, as is the scale of the reverse. What it proves is that the potential of the new scenario introduced by decoupling is not being realised. One of the reasons for this is that this state has no real strategy for maintaining viable family farming and that the opportunities presented by new areas of production such as energy crops are being neglected at policy level.
"Another major factor is that farmers' share of the price paid to consumers continues to be squeezed by processors and retailers. We saw several examples in 2006 of the price paid to farmers for milk and other products being cut and no doubt there will be similar attempts in the weeks and months ahead. In a situation where farmers incomes are under pressure such cuts are completely unjustified and must be strongly resisted." ENDS