Senator Fiona O’Loughlin calls for a Seanad debate on agriculture, and supporting farmers

This week in the Senate, Kildare based Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has called for debate on the issue of agricultural supports for progressive commercial farmers and eco schemes

Senator O’Loughlin said “Two weeks ago, I asked in the chamber that we have the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue come before us to have a debate in relation to CAP and coincidentally that day, the announcement was made in relation to where Ireland is going in terms of CAP and I really feel that we need to have a wider debate now about how we support farmers, particularly the progressive commercial farmers,”

“I recently met with a number of Farmers to discuss their issues, and it was clear that there are still issues and concerns that absolutely need to be addressed”

“The issue of eco schemes is of paramount importance, and we need these schemes to be accessible and worthwhile for farmers, and currently we have just 5 schemes in Ireland- France has 20. This something we need to look at, and prioritise.”

“In 2016, €256 million worth of agri based exports left Kildare. And this level of economic activity must be protected and fostered. And we need to ensure that every support that is in place is practical, useful and accessible”

Fiona concluded “I have again called for a debate in the Seanad on the issues facing farmers, such as convergence and the Eco schemes. We need to have all of these issues properly aired and debated, and farmers voices need to be to the fore.”