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Agriculture, Food and the Marine | Monitoring the cost of farm inputs

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the extent to which he and his Department continue to monitor the cost of farm inputs including fuel and fertilisers with a view to identifying the best way to meet the challenges of issues arising from the war in the Ukraine; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The current situation in relation to the cost and availability of farm inputs is a significant concern.  Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine led to significant hikes in energy, feed and fertiliser prices and significant concerns around supply chain disruption.

Earlier in the crisis, I established the National Fodder and Food Security Committee to prepare an industry response to the emerging crisis in feed, fodder, fertiliser and other inputs, and to develop contingency plans and advice to assist farmers in managing their farm enterprises. This Group continues to meet and I will continue to engage closely with the sector as we work together on these significant challenges.

Within the  Department, I established a Rapid Response Team, chaired by the Secretary General, to actively monitor the impacts on agri-food supply chains and to contribute to the whole of Government response to this crisis.

I launched the 2022 Soils, Nutrients and Fertiliser Campaign at Teagasc’s Ballyhaise College in January in response to the unprecedented fertiliser price levels.  

This credible roadmap, which I tasked Teagasc in developing, will help alleviate reduce their dependency on chemical fertiliser in the longer-term. Teagasc has also issued revised advice to farmers on the recommended application amounts of fertilisers for silage fields to reflect the increase in fertiliser price.

Given Ireland’s dependence on imported feed, I announced a package of targeted interventions for the tillage sector and a multi-species sward initiative worth over €12 million to support Irish farmers on 22nd March.

The package supports the growing of additional tillage and protein crops and the establishment of multi-species swards lowering demand for chemical fertiliser. Following on from the package of measures announced in recent months to provide support to Irish farmers, I launched a €56 million Fodder Support Scheme on 15th June 2022.

My Department continues to closely monitor the evolving situation and is actively engaging with the EU Commission, across Government and with industry as this situation unfolds. As the Deputy is aware, I am committed to supporting our farm families and their businesses through this very challenging period.



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