Macra na Feirme Welcomes Scheme to Support Tillage Farmers

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Pic: Macra na Feirme/Facebook.

Macra na Ferime is welcoming a new €12 million government scheme to support the tillage sector in Ireland.

The scheme aims to increase the area under tillage for crops this year in a bid to provide food for both human and animal consumption.

Macra says the initiative only serves to highlight the declining level of tillage activity in Ireland which it says is important to maintain food security.

Under the scheme, the government is to offer farmers €400 per hectare to plant additional crops over and above what would have been planted in the previous year.

It comes against the backdrop of soaring prices for oil, animal feeds, fertilizer and other farm input costs and anticipated shortages of grain produce from Ukraine and Russia.

Macra is today calling for clarity on the scheme, especially with regards to the issue of crop diversification and whether the area under wild bird cover can be replaced and planted.

The group says that the situation is exacerbated by the costs of fertilizer, fuel, plastic and a shortage of labour.

They also say that the government must provide supports to ensure food security is delivered.

About 60% of the grain used in Ireland is imported and internationally, 30% of the grain that is imported comes from either Ukraine or Russia.

Farm leaders have welcomed the new government scheme but say more ambition is required as they estimate the scheme will only result in an increase of 10% on 2021 levels of production.