Speaking at the launch of the ‘Future of the Tillage Sector in Ireland’ report by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, IFA national grain committee chairman Liam Dunne, said the report is a welcome first step in developing policy to regenerate the sector and enhance growers' incomes.
However, he said, political action is needed to turn the report’s recommendations into deliverables that will enhance growers’ incomes. “The continuing trend of low international grain prices, increasing input prices particularly for fertiliser, high interest rates, coupled with a reduced CAP payments, has decimated tillage growers’ incomes over the last five years.”
The report has adopted several recommendations made by IFA including:
• The abolition of anti-dumping duties on ammonium nitrate and customs duties on non-EU fertilisers, a key input in crop production.
• The reintroduction of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) Agriculture Cashflow Loan Support Scheme ring-fenced for tillage farmers to give greater access to competitively priced credit.
• Retention of key active ingredients including glyphosate.
• Stronger tillage sector support under farm schemes, including TAMS.
• Greater support from all industry stakeholders for the use of native Irish grain
• The development of a properly funded bioenergy sector.
“Minister Creed must now act on the recommendations made in this comprehensive report and at the Grain Forum,” Liam concluded.