“Farmers are seen as an obstacle in this strategy and not as important stakeholders that are addressing the challenges in the food chain and of environmental protection” Macra na Feirme National President Thomas Duffy stated.
The strategy, he notes, has failed to identify the key issues standing in the way of improving food chain issues and environmental challenges, according to Macra na Feirme.
“Young farmers are only mentioned once in the entire document, the challenge of generational renewal was totally ignored, meaning none of these aims will be achievable,” added Agriculture Affairs Chair John Keane.
Macra na Feirme believes the strategy is short sighted with the blanket reductions of 20% in fertiliser and 50% in plant protection products that do not consider farm viability.
“The strategy has set targets without conducting impact assessments while ignoring input from farm groups, which seems like a backward approach. Strategies of this scale must put farmers at their core not as an afterthought” Duffy concluded.
Meanwhile, IFA President Tim Cullinan said that many aspects of the EU’s ‘Farm to Fork’ and ‘Biodiversity’ strategies published this week by the EU Commission are unrealistic and will make European farming uncompetitive.
“There needs to be a comprehensive economic impact assessment of these proposals by the EU and separately by the Irish Government and Minister Creed. He should ask Teagasc to begin this immediately,” he said.
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