Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has distanced himself from letters written by Green Party MEP Ciaran Cuffe, warning banks against lending to farmers.

The minister said he “didn’t make much at all” of the letter, written by the former junior agriculture minister to bank CEOs.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Countrywide on Saturday morning, Minister McConalogue said that while he is in Government with the Green Party, “we don't have to share every action that a particular public representative takes”, adding: “I certainly don’t agree with Ciarán’s letter at all.”

He said the sector has targets in Food Vision, the CAP strategic plan, and the Climate Action Plan, which set the direction for Irish agriculture.

“[These targets] are those which all in agro-food and those that support agri-food - in terms of the banking and financial sector - also will take their guidance from,” said the minister.

“What I will be saying to the banks, and to everyone else and to all funders out there, is to back Irish agriculture over the period ahead and back the plans that we have,” he said.

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