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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 8 December, 2019
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3,000 tonnes of fodder from France to help farmers in 'crisis'

The IFA President said this might be the first of many more shipments of fodder.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

AROUND €1 MILLION has been put into a fund by the Irish Farmers’ Association to help farmers suffering from shortages of fodder following the unseasonally cold winter.

It will be spent on a 3,000 tonne shipment of fodder from the northwest of France that is due to arrive in Ireland late next week.

John Bryan, IFA President, told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that this might be the first of many more shipments as more needs to be done to tackle the results of the “terrible summer and the longest winter on record”.

“Three-thousand tonnes in the overall context is small. We might have to fill another boat to help people until normal growth returns,” he added.

Agribusinesses are going to help distribute the fodder by travelling around Ireland and selling it for cost price.

Bryan acknowledged that there are a number of cash flow problems on farms at the moment and has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to do more for those who fall outside of the Government scheme.

“We are asking the minister to be more proactive and put in more resources into this,” said Bryan. “We have a crisis on our hands.”

Bryan acknowledged that the grass was beginning to grow now, particularly in the south and east, and less so in the north and west. But he explained that grass growth would usually start in mid-March, so beginning in mid-April is very late for farmers.

Read: Government announces €1 million fodder fund for farmers>

More: Kenny acknowledges ‘close relationship between farmers and their animals’>

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Amy Croffey

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