The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) is calling for the immediate appointment of a Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
The IHNFA President Colm O Donnell made the call citing the fact that Irish farmers are now 60 days without a “functioning” senior minister, which, he said, is “totally unacceptable in such crucial times”.
“The Taoiseach, Michael Martin, who has appointed himself as acting Minister for Agriculture, cannot in all fairness, oversee everything.” stated O Donnell.
“He needs to make this appointment swiftly and he needs to give the position to someone with an understanding of agriculture and the agri-food sector. There is no time for learning on the job here.”
The Minister for Agriculture, he added, has a duty of care and responsibility to ensure all Irish farmers are represented at all stages whether its securing commitments for funding during Government Pre-budget talks, Brexit negotiations, CAP Strategic Plan, the Farm to Fork Strategy, the Biodiversity Strategy and Council of Ministers summits, which are all happening right now.”
New Food Wise 2030 strategy
Concluding, the farm leader reminded the acting minister that in the programme for government, a commitment was given to have a new Food Wise 2030 strategy published within six months of government formation providing an ambitious blueprint for the industry.
“The aim of the strategy is to add value and sustainability in the agri-food sector into the future by supporting family farms and employment in rural Ireland. All this ambition and still no functioning Minister.” the farm leader concluded.
Image source: John Fitzgerald