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Dáil Éireann - Private Members Business
Wednesday 18 January


“That Dáil Éireann:
notes:
—  the absolute necessity to support tillage farmers and the rural communities that rely on this sector;
—  that the continual trend of low grain prices, increased input costs and poor margins over the last number of years has intensified the income crisis and financial hardship in this sector;
—  that farming organisations have estimated that tillage farmers suffered a severe income reduction of between €70 million and €80 million over the course of 2016, with reduced production in excess of 400,000 tonnes;
—  the average net margin on tillage farms in 2016 was minus €130 per hectare, as outlined at the recent Teagasc Outlook Conference;
—  that severe inclement weather badly damaged and destroyed tillage crops in Autumn 2016, encompassing coastal regions and other counties;
—  the refusal by the Government to provide specific ring-fenced funding to offer financial assistance to tillage farmers who have seen their land and crop destroyed by severe weather in 2016; and
—  the appalling vista that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine underspent, by €86 million, its 2016 expenditure budget;

recognises the example of the Aid Scheme for Potato and Vegetable Crops Damaged by Frost, which was introduced in 2010; and
calls on the Government to:
—  immediately establish a crisis support fund to provide direct payments to farmers who were impacted by severe crop loss in 2016;
—  avail of current European Union (EU) State aid ‘de minimis’ regulations that allow the Government to make available tailored support payments for farmers of up to €15,000 perproducer    over a three year period;
—  build alliances at EU level to seek Commission approval for temporary suspension of EU import tariffs on fertilisers to reduce input costs for tillage farmers;
—  promote increased use of native grain and Irish malt in the manufacture of Irish whiskeys, artisan products and craft beers;
—  implement proposals submitted by farming organisations at the National Tillage Forum; and
—  open at once a Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) investment tillage scheme which the Government had promised to commence in Autumn 2016.” — Charlie McConalogue, Bobby Aylward, John Brassil, Declan Breathnach, James Browne, Mary Butler, Thomas Byrne, Jackie Cahill, Dara Calleary, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells, Jack Chambers, Lisa M. Chambers, Niall Collins, Barry Cowen, John Curran, Éamon Ó Cuív, Timmy Dooley, Sean Fleming, Pat the Cope Gallagher, Seán Haughey, Billy Kelleher, John Lahart, James Lawless, Marc MacSharry, Micheál Martin, Michael McGrath, John McGuinness, Michael Moynihan, Aindrias Moynihan, Eugene Murphy, Jim O'Callaghan, Kevin O'Keeffe, Fiona O'Loughlin, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, Frank O'Rourke, Darragh O'Brien, Willie O'Dea, Anne Rabbitte, Eamon Scanlon, Brendan Smith, Niamh Smyth, Robert Troy.

[10 January, 2017]