IFA president Tim Cullinan said the cut in excise of 2c/l of green diesel will do very little to offset the rocketing price of fuel and will be seen as an insult by farmers given the importance of food security.
“If the Government is serious about encouraging farmers to grow more grass and crops and produce more food, they should suspend all excise duty and carbon tax on agri diesel (marked gas oil) for farmers and farm contractors,” he said.
“If farmers are to sow more crops and grow more grass, it will require increased use of farm machinery in the coming days and weeks. The Government must do more immediately,” he said.
He said farm families are under huge pressure because of the savage increases in their costs.
The Government has to get to grips with the issue and provide meaningful support to farmers.
I called on the minister to pull the sector together to set up a taskforce on inputs
At a meeting last week with the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, Cullinan said the IFA put forward measures to support the growing of more grass for silage as well as more crops. The key issue here is to tackle input costs particularly fuel, fertiliser and feed.
Cullinan said the lack of urgency at Government level is very worrying.
“At our AGM in January, I called on the minister to pull the sector together to set up a taskforce on inputs. While the minister has belatedly done this, he needs to come forward with concrete-funded proposals,” he said.
Disappointment at lack of proposals from minister
Speaking after the meeting with the Minister for Agriculture last week, Cullinan said that the minister came to the meeting with no proposals.
“We didn’t see any specific proposals required to increase our capacity to produce food. We need real Government action on the price of fuel, fertiliser and feed,” he said.
He said farmers will play their part in any national effort, but the crushing impact of rising input prices has to be addressed.