Farmers suspend sit-in at Department of Agriculture

IFA to meet Minister on proposed crop loss scheme arising from 2016 harvest

 IFA President Joe Healy drove a combine harvester to the Department of Agriculture headquarters earlier this week, where he addressed a crowd as well as  the farmers who had been occupying the Department. Photograph:  Finbarr O’Rourke

IFA President Joe Healy drove a combine harvester to the Department of Agriculture headquarters earlier this week, where he addressed a crowd as well as the farmers who had been occupying the Department. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

 

The Irish Farmers Association has suspended their occupation of the Department of Agriculture offices in Dublin.

Four farmers were engaged in sit-in protest in the department’s offices at Kildare Sreet since last week.

The IFA ended the sit in to enter into negotiations with Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed on the proposed crop loss scheme arising from the 2016 harvest.

The emergency fund is worth an estimated €1.5 million and is set to open for tillage farmers in parts of the country hit by poor weather during last year’s harvest.

The crop loss compensation scheme will make a maximum of €5000 available to up to 300 private tillage farmers.

The IFA have said the €5000 limit per individual tillage farmer in the scheme. is not enough.

The Minister, who will meet with the IFA at 9am on Wednesday, has confirmed there are no preconditions to these negotiations, the association said.

IFA President Joe Healy said the Minister has secured a commitment from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for a crop loss scheme.

“However, the Minister and his officials must ensure that the scheme is credible and provides the maximum possible support to those who need it most,”said Mr Healy.

Mr Creed welcomed the decision by the IFA to end their occupation of his Department’s headquarters . He confirmed he had secured approval from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform “for the outline of a €1.5 million Crop Loss Measure and was committed to the introduction of this measure at the earliest possible time.”