Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has said the agricultural sector is facing “one of the most significant” challenges in recent years.
He said the country must take proactive steps to limit any potential disruption to feed and food supply chains.
The minister spoke following a meeting with farm organisations and Teagasc. They discussed the impact on Irish agriculture and supply chains following the illegal invasion of Ukraine.
Minister McConalogue and Department officials outlined the challenge that faces farmers in the short and long-term.
Attendees heard that supply chains from the region are “likely to be disrupted for a period”.
They were also told that “considerable” volumes of global feed and fertiliser originate and are traded through Ukraine and Russia.
Minister McConalogue said that he knows farmers will “rise to the challenge and meet it head-on”.
“By working collectively and collaboratively, we can ensure that the sector is insulated against the worst of what might come from supply chain disruptions.”
National fodder and food security committee
The minister announced that he has tasked Teagasc with heading up a national fodder and food security committee.
It will explore “all options” to minimise the impact on farms and plan in the short to medium term.
“Let me be clear; there is an urgency to the work of this committee. I tasked them to meet and complete their work without delay. “
The first meeting of the committee is this Friday. McConalogue believes there is a “window of opportunity” in the next number of weeks to make decisions to “help us build resilience”.
He said the committee’s work is his department’s “number one priority”.
Minimise impact on agri-food sector
The minister concluded by thanking those who attended the meeting, emphasising the need to continue working together rapidly.
“I thank Ministers Hackett and Heydon, as well as the farm organisations and Teagasc, for attending the meeting.”
“It was useful as we all share the same collective vision of working together to minimise the impact on our agri-food sector.”
“I called this meeting for our farmers to come together to agree on how best we can step forward in a timely manner.”
“I will continue to engage closely with the sector in the hours and days ahead as we work together on this significant challenge,” he concluded.