Independent TD, Danny Healy-Rae, has warned that the crisis around rising fertiliser prices will create a fodder crisis in Ireland at the end of this year.
During Leaders’ Questions on Wednesday, January 26th, 2022, he told An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, that he is “not satisfied” that the government is helping farmers with their “current plight”.
He called on the government to ensure the anti-dumping levy – which he said amounts to €40-€50/t – is withdrawn.
Earlier this week, as That’s Farming reported, Healy-Rae warned that increased fertiliser prices would “hurt” not only farmers but consumers also.
Crisis around fertiliser prices
He said that fertiliser prices have tripled over the last year. “Just to give you an example, urea that was €330 this time last year, is now costing €930/tonne and nitrogen that was €220/tonne is almost €700/tonne. Farmers cannot afford it,” he told the Dáil.
“I will give an example of a man whose bill was €7,000 last year. It will be €17,000 this year. That is savage for a small farmer trying to survive. If farmers cannot grow grass, they will not produce grass, milk, or grain,” Healy-Rae told Martin on Wednesday.
He warned that the cost of food “will go mad” if the government does not act, during his address.
“If the Taoiseach cannot do something about fertiliser costs, in order to survive farmers will have to increase the cost of their products to the consumer. Otherwise, they will go bust.”
“I am asking the government to subsidise the cost of fertiliser. If we look far enough ahead, we will see that the current situation will increase the cost of food as well.”
“If the cost to the farmer of what he or she produces increases, who will pay for it only the consumer?”
He told Martin that farmers – especially small-scale – “will go broke and fast” if the government does not respond.
Healy-Rae argued that farmers are being “blamed for everything even though they produce good healthy food of the highest quality while at the same time maintaining the highest environmental standards, abiding by all the department and European regulations”.