Agriculture; Food and the Marine | Agri-food sector price monitoring and safeguarding
To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the extent to which his Department continues to monitor and safeguard the interest of the agri-food sector given the sharp increase in price of inputs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) constantly monitors the interests of the agri-food sector.
Along with meeting regularly with representatives of the sector, holding formal consultations and attending public forums, we monitor developments in farm incomes, viability, structures, key commodities, food industry trends and other key economic indicators.
DAFM prepares and publishes an Annual Review and Outlook (ARO), which provides up-to-date information and statistical analysis from a variety of sources, to give a detailed overview of Ireland’s agri-food sector and an outlook for the future. The most recent edition, ARO 2022, was published last month.
Each month the CSO issue the Agricultural Price Indices outlining the changes in output and input indices for a range of agricultural products. The most recent indices, published in November, show that the agricultural input price index up by 36.9% in the 12 months to September 2022. The main increases in input prices were in fertiliser (+121.9%), energy prices (+40.1%) and feed prices (+33.4%).
Since the invasion of Ukraine started, I have announced a number of measures valued at €91 million, to assist the agri-food sector including an incentive for farmers to grow additional fodder, and specific supports for the pig, tillage & horticulture sectors.
In addressing the current challenging economic landscape, I announced the highest-ever level of funding for my Department in Budget 2023, a 13% increase overall, and I will continue to deliver the appropriate level of support, including working with my colleagues on business supports for farmers, fishers and food & drink businesses.
Measures of particular assistance to the agri-food sector included: the continuation of the reduction of excise duty on agricultural diesel to nil; the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme and the Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme, which will provide important support for farmers and food businesses with their energy bills; and the delivery of new loan schemes.
I am acutely aware of the challenges facing farm families, coastal communities and food businesses and due to the sharp increase in the price of inputs.
We are living in uncertain times, but we need our farm families and fishers producing safe, sustainable, and high-quality food more than ever. I will continue to back them in doing that
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