The joint Oireachtas committee on agriculture will be joined by officials from the European Commission’s directorate general on agriculture and rural development to discuss the continually rising cost of fertilisers.

The committee’s chair Jackie Cahill TD has stated that the prices rises represent a serious cause for concern and that a jump of this magnitude has never been witnessed before in inputs used by other sectors.

There are also concerns about the availability of the product

Availability concerns are also set to be raised by the committee in their deliberations, which are due to take place from 5.30pm on Wednesday.

“Cost increases in the region of 250% are unprecedented for raw materials in any industry. There are also concerns about the availability of the product for the coming season,” commented Cahill ahead of Wednesday’s meeting.

“The huge increases in the cost of fertiliser in the last six months is a very worrying development for the agri industry in our country,” he said.

The meeting will be the first public sitting of the joint committee this year.

Commission actions

Cahill stated that committee members would quiz the officials on Brussels’s response to the situation, enquiring on measures that have been taken not only to lower prices, but also to ensure that adequate supplies will be made available to farmers this spring.

“The committee welcomes the opportunity to discuss with the European Commission the issues around the cost and availability of fertiliser product in the EU.

“We look forward to hearing the steps the Commission is taking to bring the cost down to more normal, affordable levels, and to assure availability of supply for farmers and the agri industry in Ireland,” the committee’s chair concluded.