Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Farm Costs

Photo of James O'ConnorJames O'Connor (Cork East, Fianna Fail)
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449. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the work his Department is undertaking to support dairy and tillage farmers in relation to the supply of fertiliser. [17150/22]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has led to significant hikes in input prices and significant concerns around supply chain disruption including in relation to supply of fertiliser.

I met with the main farm organisations and Teagasc on 8th March to discuss the impact on Irish agriculture and supply chains. At that meeting I established the National Fodder and Food Security Committee to prepare an industry response to the emerging crisis in feed, fodder, fertiliser and other inputs, and to develop contingency plans and advice to assist farmers in managing their farm enterprises. This Group continues to meet and I continue to engage closely with the sector as we work together on these significant challenges.

Within my Department, I established a Rapid Response Team, chaired by the Secretary General, to actively monitor the impacts on agri-food supply chains and to contribute to the whole of Government response to this crisis, including in relation to the supply of fertiliser.

I raised concerns in relation to the impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on agri-food supply chains at the extraordinary informal meeting of European Union Agriculture Ministers held on 2nd March and at the AgriFish Council on 21st March. At these meetings I underlined the need to maintain and keep a very close eye on supply chains and to ensure an effective and functioning Single Market and to be ready to consider any measures that may help to alleviate the difficulties caused.

The Commission has already announced a number of support measures, including the introduction of private storage aid for the pigmeat sector, a new exceptional aid support package making available a fund of €500 million for affected sectors (which Member States can match by up to 200%), increased payment advances in 2022 and a new temporary State Aid framework.

I announced a package of targeted interventions for the tillage sector and a multi-species sward initiative worth over €12 million to support Irish farmers on 22nd March. The package supports the growing of additional tillage and protein crops and the establishment of multi-species swards lowering demand for chemical fertiliser.

My Department continues to actively engage with the fertiliser industry and to monitor supply chains. I'm taking a proactive approach to this situation in order to support our farm families and their businesses through this time of considerable challenge.


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