Action needed to protect jobs in agriculture & agri-food
The Dáil will debate a Fianna Fáil motion this week calling on the Government to reverse its cuts to the Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS) and the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme (DAS) and to tackle rising diesel prices.
Kerry Senator Mark Daly says the motion criticises the lack of leadership from the government in protecting jobs in the farming and agri-food sectors.
“We need clear and decisive action from the Government to support the agriculture sector, which is the engine of the economy in Kerry and across the country. There are 300,000 jobs in the agri-food industry alone and it contributes €24 billion to the economy,” said Senator Daly.
“I am concerned about the lack of leadership from the Government in addressing the serious issues facing farmers and food producers. Small farmers across Co Kerry have had a particularly difficult year and they are facing more difficulties after the Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney scaled back the AEOS and made changes to the minimum stocking density required under the DAS.
“In the Dáil this week, Fine Gael and Labour have an opportunity to show their commitment to farmers and food-producers. Fianna Fáil has tabled a motion calling on the Government to recognise that the crucial role that the agriculture sector plays in job creation and economic growth in this region.
“The motion calls on the Government to stop scaling back payments that are essential for small farmers in Co Kerry. We are calling on the Agriculture Minister to expand the new AEOS to 8,000 places and restore the original maximum payment of €5,000. It also calls on the Agriculture Minister to reverse changes he introduced to the minimum stocking density ratio under the DAS. We are also urging the Government to take decisive action to tackle rising diesel prices and to introduce an effective user rebate scheme that will alleviate the rising financial pressure on farmers, agriculture contractors and farmers.
“I am urging the Government Deputies in this constituency to show their commitment to local farmers by supporting this motion in the Dáil this week,” said Senator Daly.