DEAR SIR: Ukraine is no stranger to war and destruction, but the tragedy that is now stalking the streets and playing out in the homes and fields throughout the country is unprecedented.
Without a doubt this is a great tragedy, so it is no surprise that Irish and international aid agencies have sprung to the support of the Ukrainian people.
For good reason, Irish farmers have a unique understanding of the plight that their counterparts in Ukraine now find themselves in.
Therefore, it is no surprise that Irish farmers are also uniquely in the best position to help their counterparts work their land and produce their own food. The Irish Farmers Journal should now take the leading role in organising and coordinating this existential great national effort.
Not for the first time, Europe and America have made the wrong diagnosis of Ukraine’s perennial problems. And inevitably too, they have also come up with the wrong solutions for these problems. Specifically, what Ukraine needs now are tractors and farm machinery – not tanks and guns.
In addition, rather than training the people of Ukraine to fight, we should be advising them how to farm. Teagasc and ACA have key roles in delivering these critical services. Indeed Irish farmers and agribusinesses have some form in this field too.
We need to leverage all the practical contributions we can and should be making today, instead of blindly following the herd.
Specifically, we should be now sending agricultural seeds (seed potatoes, vegetable seeds, mushroom spawn and cereals, grass seeds etc). We should and could also send the full range of good second-hand tractors, farm machinery and equipment to Ukrainian farmers.
If you’re interested in helping out in any of these ways, you can contact me directly with your offer of support and contact details at email@example.com.