Fianna Fáil’s Robbie Gallagher has called on Minister McConalogue to come before the Seanad to stage a debate on the future of farm contractors in Ireland and the “dangers associated with them not being able to do the work they do”.
The senator was part of a delegation that met with a group of farm contractors that arrived in Leinster House on Wednesday, March 30th, 2022.
The FCI met with TDs and Senators to discuss a “wide” range of issues through a one-hour presentation and Q&A session.
Gallagher said that during the meeting, agricultural contractors outlined, in “stark detail”, the “serious concerns” they have about their businesses’ future.
Green diesel prices
Among the issues they raised was the price of ‘green’ diesel.
Elaborating on this specific point, the deputy said: “Again, to give a stark example to illustrate the huge increase that has taken place in diesel prices in the past couple of years.”
“Back in 2020, a litre of diesel cost 54 cent. Last year, the price of that litre of diesel increased to 75 cent.”
“As of yesterday, a litre of diesel now costs €1.35, which is a serious increase,” he added.
Future of farm contractors
He said that contractors are “very fearful” that their work will grind to a halt and their machinery will not leave their yards this spring.
Gallagher added that farm and forestry contractors employ close to 80,000 people and operate on farms nationwide.
He highlighted that they are an “unrecognised power group that has helped to drive Irish farming and food industry”.
“Without them, our farm families would simply not continue to exist,” he stressed.
“This issue is not just simply about farm contractors; it is about much more than that.”
“It is about the future of farm families, the future of rural Ireland, winter food shortages, the reduction in the national herd, food exports and potential job losses,” he concluded.
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