Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue believes that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could ultimately lead to separate food production and environmental funds for farmers. He was speaking on the Irish Farmers Journal’s 1,000th podcast.

The Minister said he believed that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had focused the minds of governments and European politicians on food security, a focus which he believes will remain.

“I think the lesson of the war in Ukraine is that there can be no room for complacency in relation to food security and also how delicate supply chains can be and how they can be disrupted,” he told the Irish Farmers Journal podcast this week.

“Over the last 30-plus years, there haven't been any events like that which really challenged the complacency around food security in the way that we saw the last couple of years as a result of the illegal invasion of Ukraine,” he said.

Important imprint

“I think it's leaving an important imprint on people's minds of the fact that there had been a complacency had developed there,” he said, adding that he and other policymakers and farming ministers see it as a duty to push for a “reset” for agricultural funding following the shrinking in real terms of the CAP budget at European level.

Minister McConalogue predicted “a battle” ahead for a separate environmental fund for farmers, in addition to the CAP.

However he said: “We will have to continue to press for [a separate fund] and we have to point to the disruption and the impact of the Ukrainian war, and the food supply disruptions that led to, as a rationale as to why that should be the case.

Exclusive interview

Minister McConalogue was speaking in an exclusive interview as part of the Irish Farmers Journal’s 1,000th podcast.

In a wide-ranging interview which looked back at events that have changed Irish agriculture since the first ever Irish Farmers Journal podcast was published in 2015, Minister McConalogue described Brexit as the most significant and dangerous event of his tenure.

He described Ireland as “dodging” the real negative impact of a no-deal Brexit, saying: “The stakes were massively high for the agriculture sector, more so than any other, because almost 40% of our agri food products go to the British market.”

Listen to the full podcast on, where listeners will also be in with a chance to win €1,000.