Grain package on the cards

Powerful vintage: IFA President, Joe Healy, beside a David Brown 30D at the IFA protest outside the Dáil last week seeking aid for grain growers whose crops were decimated by the bad weather of last September.
Powerful vintage: IFA President, Joe Healy, beside a David Brown 30D at the IFA protest outside the Dáil last week seeking aid for grain growers whose crops were decimated by the bad weather of last September.

A BREAKTHROUGH package for grain farmers who suffered huge losses due to the rains of last September is now likely to emerge following a meeting of the National Tillage Forum early next month.

Minister of State at the OPW and Galway East TD, Seán Canney, said that the Tillage Forum will be used to set up a structure for the putting in place of compensation measures.

“Minister Creed and I have discussed the tillage crisis at length and we are confident that the agreement that we have reached will address the key concerns of tillage farmers,” said Minister Canney.

“The Tillage Forum will be used to set up a structure by which a support scheme can be devised to help grain farmers who lost their crops as a result of the severe weather experienced by them last September.

“I have been assured that the forum will be convened by the first week in February. I would like to thank Minister Creed for the helpful and constructive manner in which he has dealt with this matter.”

“I have been in dialogue with both the IFA and individual tillage farmers from Galway over the past number of months and I am confident that the Minister will bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion,” said Minister Canney.

Corrandulla grain farmer and Galway IFA Rural Development Committee Chairman, Eamonn Burke, told the Farming Tribune that there was a real urgency about putting the aid package in places.

“Many grain growers just had no produce to sell last year and are still in debt to the merchants. They will not be in position to fund their operation for this year unless the aid package is put in place quickly,” said Eamonn Burke.

He said that the protests outside Dáil Eireann last week and the passing of a Fianna Fáil Dáil motion supporting the rescue package had given momentum to the campaign that had been ongoing since last October.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.