asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries if he is aware that there is grave concern among all interests in the agricultural industry at the attitude of the Government towards agriculture as revealed in the Third Programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Agricultural Policy.
Thanks to the Government's development policies and sustained measures of support, agriculture has never been so progressive or prosperous as in the past two years.
Ask the farmers.
I do not have to ask anyone.
The Minister does not generally.
All concerned about the agriculture industry are well aware of this situation and, despite the efforts of certain critics, are quite happy with the Government's plans as set out in the Programme. These constitute largely a rolling forward and development of policies and programmes which have proved successful and beneficial both to farmers and to the economy.
Surely the Minister is aware that none of the farming organisations is satisfied with the plan. The NFA have spoken out and they have denounced it. Has the Minister lost faith in the Irish farmer and in Irish agriculture completely?
The Deputy should ask himself that question.
I am asking the Minister.
The Deputy knows my answer.
The Minister has fooled the farmers for long enough. The Minister says they are doing well. Why were they sitting outside here and none of the Ministers would meet them?
It is only lately that they could do well sitting down.