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Apr 15, 2020 | Latest News, Press Releases | 0 comments

10 APRIL 2020

ICSA president Edmond Phelan has said that the announcement of an EU €540 billion Covid-19 rescue package is welcome, but it does not go far enough and leaves a lot of unanswered questions. “It is very far from clear how this will help the beleaguered farm sector, who despite working night and day to keep food on the shelves, are experiencing price falls and desperate cash flow difficulties.”

 “Key elements of the deal including €100 million support to keep workers employed and EIB support for the corporate sector do not answer the call for an Extraordinary Agricultural Programme. Moreover, much of the funding is in the form of loans which although part of the solution do not fully address the extent of the calamity visited on many sectors of the economy.”

 “ICSA is calling on the Taoiseach to press very hard in the coming days for an additional recovery fund which must include support for the farming sector. Food security in the EU in the longer term is at risk unless we do something now to support farmers across Europe who are carrying all the impact of disruption to food markets. In particular, the longer restaurants and other catering outlets are closed, the more severe the impact on farming.”

 The ICSA president also added that it is now urgent that a temporary ban be imposed on food imports from outside the EU in the case of food products which are badly impacted in the EU.  “There is no need to be importing meat and dairy products at a time when EU producers are told there is no demand for their product. It is absolutely absurd that import quotas remain open at low tariff rates to encourage food imports which, at this time, is potentially forcing many EU farmers to the wall.”


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ICSA Tillage chair Gavin Carberry has said Minister McConalogue must put money on the table if the decline in the area under tillage is to be reversed. “The tillage sector is in dire need of a significant and multi-year financial boost which must be delivered if the Department are serious about meeting the target of increasing the tillage area to 400,000ha by 2030 as part of the Climate Action Plan,” he said.

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