Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 6 Nov 1974

Vol. 275 No. 7

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Pig Industry.


asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries why the Irish pig industry is not able to supply the UK market at the present time.

This country is continuing to supply pigmeat to the UK market but in somewhat diminished quantities as a result of a fall in pig numbers. The Pigs and Bacon Commission inform me that their exports of pigmeat to the UK in the past six months totalled 10,112 tons as compared with 11,017 tons in the corresponding period in 1973.

Is it not true that earlier this year the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries advised farmers to get out of pig production?

That is not true; the contrary is the case. In the absence of the Minister I answered questions here on several occasions in respect of pig production and I indicated that the price of pigs would increase and that producers should continue in pig production. The present position proves that I was right. However the reduction in pig numbers is due largely to the propaganda from the people opposite who spread as much pessimism as possible in relation to the industry.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary sure that it was not the weather that was to blame?

The producers remember the Minister advising them to get out of pig production.

It was the pessimism spread by the Fianna Fáil propaganda machine that induced farmers to get out of pig production.

Might not the reason be the dramatic increase in the cost of feedstuffs at the end of last year combined with the Minister's statement that led to the reduction in pig numbers?

The Minister made no statement of the nature implied. He indicated clearly what was the position. Our information was that bacon prices were likely to increase. That prognostication has proved to be correct and, fortunately for the producers, there will be a sharp increase in the price of the bacon being supplied to the British market.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary say——

The Chair is giving the maximum latitude to Deputies at Question Time and would appreciate their co-operation in making some progress.

I was about to ask whether the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries are taking any steps to ensure that there is not the same profiteering in barley this year as there was last year?

That is a separate question.

For the Deputy's information, barley is now £65 per ton.