Minister Creed failing tillage farmers - McConalogue
A lack of detail on a plan for a tillage crisis aid fund from Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed at Thursday’s tillage forum, has been criticised by Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesperson Charlie McConalogue.
“Minister Creed has kicked hopes of a crisis fund to touch, leaving tillage farmers face down in the mud with no support. This is a shocking state of affairs,” McConalogue commented on Friday.
Reports indicate that that the forum was told that the TAMS tillage scheme will not open for a number of weeks, and that the criteria for a possible crisis aid fund were still being drawn up.
McConalogue said that the delay in the tillage TAMS scheme will add further pressure to farmers.
“At a time when the Department is running an underspend of some €86m for last year, I find it incredible that the minister is continuing to refuse to introduce an emergency fund in the region of €5m,” the Donegal North-East TD said.
He said that farmers were becoming increasingly frustrated in the delays with the TAMS scheme and tillage aid fund.
Speaking to Irish Farmers Journal on Thursday, IFA grain chair Liam Dunne said that he was disappointed that the TAMS tillage scheme was not up and running.
Dunne said that the Department has agreed to form a technical group to work out the criteria under which aid could be paid out. “This leaves a big question mark over the crisis aid,” he added.