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Food Harvest 2020 High Level Implementation Committee to consider Fodder Situation

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, T.D., announced today that he has requested the Interagency Fodder Committee to report to the Food Harvest 2020 High Level Implementation Committee, which he chairs, on the actions being taken and the progress being made.  The Minister said “I propose to devote a session of the next meeting of the Food Harvest 2020 Committee to the fodder situation and the outlook for the remainder of the year.

The Minister acknowledged the work being carried out by the Interagency Fodder Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Tom Kelly, Teagasc.  In addition to the Department and Teagasc, there is broad industry representation on the Committee.  The Minister noted that “the Committee is not only monitoring the fodder situation but is also co-ordinating actions over the coming months to ensure there is sufficient fodder conserved for next Winter”. The Minister said that “central to meeting the on-going targets set out under Food Harvest 2020 in the case of the dairy and meat sectors is a strategic approach to fodder production and conservation”.  The Minister added that “he would ensure that the Fodder Committee will brief the FH2020 Committee as the year progresses and the overall situation becomes clearer”.  

According to the Minister “the firm focus now shifts to growing and conserving fodder for next winter’s needsThe recent adjustments to the Nitrates regulations agreed with my colleague in Government Minister Hogan will support this focus and in particular help towards the conservation of additional fodder later into the Autumn”.

The Fodder Transport Subsidy Scheme has supported the importation of almost 2,800 loads of imported fodder, amounting to over 40,000 tons of fodder into the country. “Given the volume of imports that we have supported under the scheme, it is clear that it has played a very important part in assisting farmers cope with the recent period of poor growth” the Minister said.  “In particular, I would like to thank all those that have worked very hard to ensure such a large volume of fodder could be imported and made available to farmers over a very short period” the Minister added.

The Minister drew attention to the significant work undertaken by the numerous Co-ops, Marts and Merchants who managed the importation and distribution. He also commended the Farm Organisations for their efforts and the significant effort by farmers themselves who helped and assisted their neighbours.

Date Released: 12 June 2013