ICMSA president Pat McCormack has said that a “flawed logic and science” of cutting dairy farm emissions in the most sustainable agriculture sector in the northern hemisphere is “downright delusional”.

Implementing emissions cuts will hit farm incomes as input costs and interest rates are rising, but farmers will not accept the imposition of further environmental measures before funding opportunities are laid out, the dairy group has warned.

McCormack stated that under the current circumstances it remains “almost impossible” for the ICMSA to sign up to either group’s proposals.

His comments come as both the final report of the Food Vision dairy group and the interim report of its drystock equivalent recommended voluntary culling schemes, with out farmer organisations’ backing.

Worthless assurance

“Farmers will not be fobbed-off with some vague and worthless assurance that ‘sure we might get around to that at some stage later on when we have the time and if we ever have the money’,” McCormack said.

“That’s just never going to work and to be honest it is both counter-productive and insulting of the Government to think it will.”

Funding clarity needed

The farm organisation called for dedicated annual funding streams to be outlined for the measures that are to be asked of farmers.

Details around eligibility criteria for the proposed schemes are also needed, McCormack has stated.

“He cautioned the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue that “the funding and the schemes for its disbursement are to be reserved for the farmers – there had better not be the usual gravy train” for those other to farmers.

“Global food security is now a very live issue and Irish farmers can play a hugely important role in this regard,” he went on.

“But we are understandably very, very wary of policies that aim at driving Irish farming and food production down while completely fossil fuel dependent industries like aviation are practically encouraged to expand.”

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