FARMERS across Mayo are to ‘down tools’ next Tuesday, October 9, as part of an IFA protest day. Up to 20,000 farmers are set to travel to Dublin as part of the protest.
During what the IFA has dubbed a ‘Day of Action to Fight for the Future of Family Farming’, farmers are being asked to shut down and refuse to allow produce to leave their farms.
The unusual move is designed to highlight the importance of the argi sector for the economy, the impact of ‘price squeezes’ on farming families and the need for funding for income-related farm schemes.
Mayo IFA Chairman Padraig Joyce said the protest day has received large support from the farming community, including marts, which he said were co-operating with the event. He said he also expects a large number of Mayo farmers to attend.
“There are 300,000 people employed in the agri-food sector and we want to emphasise the value of our products and the need to keep the farm schemes. I was talking to farmers who said everything was going well until June but because of the disastrous summer farmers are only buying feed for livestock.
“Hill sheep farmers in Mayo are affected because there is no grass in the midlands and nobody will buy their lambs. As a result they have to buy feed to bring them up to factory weight. Feed, fuel and fertiliser have all risen by 50 per cent in the last year and it has been difficult for a lot of farmers,” he said.
Mr Joyce said income-related farm schemes were vital for farmers, and he called on the Minister for Agriculture not to make further cuts to these schemes. He added that the agri-sector was worth €9 billion to the Irish economy, and he urged the minister to defend Irish interests in the CAP reform talks.
A number of IFA meetings will take place around the county in advance of the protest to arrange transport to Dublin.
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