Further calls for tillage crisis fund
The issue was raised in the Dáil on Tuesday during Private Members Business, where Donegal TD McConalogue called on the Government to immediately establish a crisis fund to provide direct payments to farmers who were impacted by severe crop losses in 2016 due to bad weather.
Those in coastal areas were perhaps the worst affected with tillage farmers throughout the country suffering an estimated income reduction of between €70m and €80m over the course of 2016, according to farming organisations.
The IFA has estimated that the average loss to farmers was 105t per farm.
McConalogue highlighted an alleged underspend of €86m by the Department of Agriculture in its 2016 expenditure budget and he called on the Government to avail of EU regulations that allow it to provide tailored support payments for farmers of up to €15,000 over a three year period.
“I genuinely cannot understand the Minister’s opposition to a compensation package. Back in 2010, the then Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith introduced the Aid Scheme for Potato and Vegetable Crops Damaged by Frost, so the precedent exists,” McConalogue said.
Once again the issue of a Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) investment tillage scheme will be raised in the Dáil next Tuesday, with the scheme having been promised to commence in autumn 2016.