Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture Éamon Ó Cuív and members of the IFA and the ICMSA will be guest speakers at a public meeting in The Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny at 8pm on Thursday.
The public meeting will debate the contentious issue of the Common Agriculture Policy and the challenges facing the agriculture sector in Kilkenny and across the country. The meeting, hosted by Deputy John McGuinness will also involve representatives of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) and MEP Liam Aylward. The meeting will have an independent chair person in the form of Donie Butler, President of the Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce. Deputy McGuinness explained that Fianna Fail wants consult farmers in Kilkenny and across the constituency about the major challenges they are facing at this time.
“This meeting provides an opportunity to address the concerns of local farmers, many of whom are extremely worried about what’s coming down the line.
“There must be no reduction in funding for the Common Agriculture Policy. It is crucial this is dealt with as a matter of urgency to end the state of uncertainty that’s plaguing Irish farming at this time. The Taoiseach must use his key position as incoming President of the European Union to ensure that our funding under CAP is not cut. We also need to ensure fairer distribution of the CAP budget to address the needs of smaller farmers who are struggling at this time,” he said.
“The reform of the Common Agriculture Policy will certainly have an impact on jobs and the economy in Kilkenny. Farming and the wider agriculture/agri-food sector are crucial to the economic recovery of this region. Every small farmer and food producer in Kilkenny contributes to that recovery and to sustaining our local communities. We need to ensure that they are given proper support by the Government and by Europe to keep their businesses open. Anyone who has questions or concerns about any of the challenges facing the agriculture sector here is welcome to come along to the meeting. We will ensure that they get a chance to air their views,” Deputy McGuinness said.