Cattle & Sheep Sectors Must be Supported in Budget – Ó Domhnaill

Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture Brian Ó Domhnaill has this week called on the Government to safeguard payment levels to the Cattle & Sheep Sectors in the Budget and to re-introduce a Suckler Cow Scheme of at least €100 per cow and targeted support for sheep.


The Donegal Senator has made this call after the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine this week heard that focused supports were needed to secure the long-term future of the Cattle and Sheep Sectors.


“There is currently 6.6 million cattle and 4.75 million sheep in the Country and of the 139,000 farms in Ireland, 110,000 have some cattle production and 32,000 have sheep.”


Senator Ó Domhnaill said; “A UCD report commissioned by the IFA on the importance of the Cattle and Sheep Sectors to the Irish Economy was presented by  Professor of Agriculture and Food Economics Alan Renwick who was before the Committee, along with IFA president  John Bryan.”


“The positive impact of the drystock sectors to the Irish Economy cannot be understated. The Sector alone actually generates €3.23 billion to the Irish Economy (GDP) and vitally sustains 100,000 full time jobs, spread widely throughout the Country.”


Senator Ó Domhnaill went on to say; “The report argues that the Sectors might be rendered un-viable in many areas of the Country without the required supports. The Report also points to the danger of the multiple effects working in reverse, it points out that 25 and 20 per cent fall in cattle and sheep numbers could amount to jobs losses in the tens of thousands.”


“Given that the drystock sector accounts for a similar output as the Dairy Sector, its economic importance cannot be overstated. Sustaining and developing the sector into the future must be based on a model which secures a reasonable income for the primary producer.”


“With growing World demand for Food, coupled with Irelands ambitious food harvest 2020 targets, it was pointed out that targeted programmes were required help secure the Sectors into the future. It is imperative that the Sector is supported.”


“The Agriculture Committee will enter Pre-Budget discussions with the Minister for Agriculture this week. I will be pressing him to provide additional supports to the drystock sectors in Budget 2014. I believe from my scrutiny of the Agriculture Budget that better funding choices, which would benefit Rural Farms can be made.”


Posted: Oct 2, 2013     |     Categories: Uncategorized