Munster IFA Chairman and Presidential Candidate, John Coughlan, calls on the Taoiseach to come to the National Ploughing Championships with an all-of-Government plan to Protect Farmers as uncertain Brexit looms

Munster IFA Chairman and Presidential Candidate, John Coughlan, has called on the Taoiseach to come to the National Ploughing Championships with an “all-of-Government plan to Protect Farmers” as an uncertain Brexit looms.

John Coughlan said:

Irish farming has always delivered for the Irish Exchequer and as I stand here at the Ploughing Championships, I see farmers and agribusiness coming together. Farmers are the foundation on which this is built and their livelihoods must be secured.

The Central Bank’s recent economic letter “New Risks and Old Problems: The Uncertain Outlook for Irish Agriculture” emphasises this.

Coughlan said:

It shows clearly that an average income of €8,300 on livestock farms and their 100% dependence on direct payments for farm income is not good enough for farmers or rural Ireland. The economic letter highlights agriculture’s role as being the key driver of rural Ireland. It also emphasises that farmers will become Brexit’s first casualty. Now is the time for the Taoiseach and Minister for Agriculture to outline their blue print over the short and medium term.

Coughlan emphasised the need for an immediate and comprehensive action.

I am calling on the Taoiseach to bring forward a serious financial package to secure farm income. There is a drop in all commodity prices: in beef prices in the past 12 months, grain in the past 3 months and now dairy is coming under pressure. This shows we are already in Brexit and from speaking to individual farmers at the National Ploughing Championships, I get a real sense that we are being cast adrift. The farmer is the most vulnerable in the agri-business chain. It is time for the Taoiseach and the government to show their commitment to farming,” said Coughlan.

ENDS

For further information contact:

John Coughlan IFA
anncoughlan2000@yahoo.com
0862681764 / 086 2336630