The Irish Farmers Journal understands that three ministers have been requested to attend an Oireachtas Agriculture Committee hearing next week following a protest by the horticulture sector outside the Convention Centre on Tuesday.

The IFA and the Kildare Growers group were protesting a ban on harvesting peat on bogs over 30ha without a licence and said it was leading to a peat shortage which was having a knock-on effect on how they grow their crops.

The issue spans the three departments of Climate, Agriculture and Local Government, and Ministers Eamon Ryan, Pippa Hackett and Darragh O’Brien have been invited to attend, respectively.

However, it is understood that no minister from the Department of Local Government is available to attend.

The horticulture sector employs up to 17,000 people both directly and indirectly and growers say the issue is having a severe impact on their businesses.

Spokesperson for Kildare Growers, Larry Doran said the decision of the Green Party to ban peat harvesting for horticulture was “absurd”.