Thursday, September 27, 2012
Family farms must be protected – O’ Súilleabháin
Keeping as many families on the land as possible should be a government priority according to a local spokesperson for Sinn Féin. Speaking at the National Ploughing Championships in New Ross last week, Fionntán O’ Súilleabháin said that Irish farming was responsible for up to 300,000 jobs, €9 billion of exports and €8 billion being spent back into our own economy by farming families. Mr O’ Súilleabháin also said that he fully supported the IFAs Day of Action on October 9th.
Mr O’ Súilleabháin said;
“Successive Irish governments have neglected the agriculture sector and rural communities. In 2009 our agriculture output was less than it had been two decades earlier which resulted in farm income falling by 30%. Irish agriculture has been in decline for many years because of this neglect. Nationally the number of farms has fallen from 228,000 in 1975 to 128,000 in 2006. It is projected that this decline will continue, reaching 105,000 in 2015, as more small farmers are forced off the land.”
“The government must make keeping as many families on the land as possible a priority. In other countries we have seen family farms taken over by corporations and large agri businesses. Not only has this led to a drop off in productivity on these farms, it has also led to a reduced local economy. In rural areas the local economy is far more dependent on small farms than our government may realise. Every year farming families spend €8 billion in this state and for every €100 of agriculture output there is a further €73 of output to the wider economy.”
“On October 9th the IFA will be holding a Day of Action to highlight the real need for Irish farming to be defended at home and abroad. Farmers must be assured fair prices at home from retailers and factories. The reform of the Common Agriculture Policy is vitally important for Irish farming. Unless our government makes a stand for our agri sector in the EU, the impressive growth targets laid out in documents like Food Harvest 2020 will be unachievable. I fully support the IFAs Day of Action.”