21 May 2022

Confusion in Longford over Transport Scheme

Government urged to act on fodder crisis

Calls for reconvening the Fodder Action Group have been made after it emerged this week that there is confusion over the agri department's Transport Scheme

Calls for reconvening the Fodder Action Group have been made after it emerged this week that there is confusion over the agri department's Transport Scheme.

IFA Connacht Regional Chairman Padraic Joyce said there was a great deal of confusion about aspects of the Transport Scheme for fodder which was announced by the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine.

“The Minister needs to convene an immediate meeting of the Fodder Action Group so that all stakeholders can discuss how the scheme will work in practice,” he added.

“The Scheme should have the minimum of bureaucracy as this is a busy time of the year on farms, however, the lack of clarity is adding to the stress on farmers who don’t have enough fodder.”

He went on to say that there was confusion over who could qualify for the Schene and which counties were eligible.

“The Minister has to convene the Fodder Action Group immediately and the Department has to provide clarity on how the Scheme will operate,” he added.

“The condition around sourcing fodder through a co-op is too vague as it says ‘forage primarily sourced through co-ops will be eligible’.”

Meanwhile, the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) said there was “too many inconsistencies” in the Scheme.

“We have written to the Minister and the chairman of the stakeholders committee to request an immediate meeting to address the many problems within the scheme,” INHFA President Colm O'Donnell added.

“The Minister has ignored the unanimous recommendation by the stakeholders action group that a meal voucher scheme be put in place, while the Department of Agriculture and the Co operatives have jointly engaged in price fixing, setting a massively inflated price that farmers must pay for bales in order to benefit from the haulage subsidy.

“Local license hauliers who traditionally source and supply fodder for farmers in the northwest have been sidelined forcing their traditional customers to turn their back and deal with co-operatives and a 100 km zone has been created which rules out sourcing quality fodder within the region.”

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