Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called for the resignation of the Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed. Deputy McGrath went on to say that the Minister’s management of the drought and fodder crisis is infuriating farmers on the ground for its extended focus on long term measures that will do nothing to alleviate the immediate emergencies that are being faced on a daily basis:
“Minister Creed may not be responsible for the weather, but he is responsible for the policy response from his office and from the Department. That response continues to be nothing short of disastrous.
The measures that are being discussed such as advances for pillar I and pillar 2 payments as well as ‘requests’ for increased flexibility around GLAS scheme fodder provisions, are all things that needed to happen anyway following the prolonged snow and wet winter and prior to this month long heatwave.
The Minister is completely behind the curve in his response. This in turn demonstrates how out of touch he is in terms of the scale of the emergency and how he has failed to heed clear warnings that were given to him.
Farmers are contacting me at their absolute wits end over what they see as the Minister’s top heavy bureaucratic approach and his failure to drive through practical initiatives such as the importation of dried irrigated fodder like alfalfa, among others.
At a time of prolonged crisis like this the farming community needs someone at the helm who can demonstrate clear common sense and not someone for whom the answer to every problem seems to be to organise another meeting to ‘discuss’ the problem, or to patronise farmers by asking them to reach out for help.
This is not rocket science. We may have a catastrophic lack of capacity to generate indigenous fodder, but we do have the capacity to import significant volumes at subsidised rates to alleviate that catastrophe. How the Minister has failed to join those two things together is beyond me.
The Minister has lost all credibility among farmers for his ‘leadership’ during this crisis and for that alone he must go,” concluded Deputy McGrath.