At least 60,000 bales are required to meet the fodder shortage in the Northwest alone which has extended into counties Monaghan, Cavan and Roscommon, according to Mr. Lorcan McCabe, Deputy President of ICMSA, who expressed disappointment at the reluctance of the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine to tackle the crisis.
Speaking at a meeting with the Department this week, Mr. McCabe said it has been five weeks since the last meeting of this group.
“We came here this week expecting action from the Department. Instead, we were met with a response of only assessing the situation – how many times must they be told that there is a crisis before they begin to take action?
“Most farmers in the northwest need 60-80 bales on average to meet their fodder deficit with an estimated total of about 60,000 bales and the Department must make adequate provisions to support these farmers.
“We have made consistent recommendations to the Department to subsidise the transport of forage and to introduce vouchers for ‘fodder stretcher’ ration but to date, these suggestions seem to have fallen on deaf ears”.
A Department intervention is quite clearly required, he concluded.