Minister reassures Tipperary mushroom growers on peat crisis

Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue. Photo © Tipp FM.

The Minister for Agriculture says they are working on a solution to the peat crisis in the horticulture sector in Tipperary and across the country.

Now that Bord na Mona have ceased peat harvesting, in favour of being more sustainable and eco friendly, it has wreaked havoc on the sector with severe shortages.

He said that in 2018, the mushroom sector only accounted for about 1% of the peat harvested by Bord na Mona.

Minister Charlie McConalogue spoke to Tipp FM News at Cahir Mart yesterday and said that they recognise that peat needs to be available and produced in Ireland.

“There’s a working group across three Government departments, including my own, which has come together to find a solution to this.

“I’m committed to working with other ministers to find a way.

“It’s really essential we’re able to produce this at home, that we do produce that peat to support what is a tremendously sustainable sector in the production of mushrooms.

“There is a challenge there and we are working to resolve it.”

The Minister added that in 2018, about 1% of the peat harvested was used by the mushroom industry.

He said this is a strong sector and a good employer in Tipperary.

“Ultimately, this is a challenge, one the Government knows needs to be addressed and we are working to address it.

“It’s important that peat supply is available domestically and produced domestically to supply our mushroom sector.”