North Tipperary IFA says Farmers won’t be “sacrificial lamb” in formation of government

Photo © Tipp FM

Farmers will not be the sacrificial lamb in the formation of a coalition government.

The comments from North Tipp IFA chair Imelda Walsh come as talks on government formation between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens enter their 8th day.

The Green party wants a 7% reduction in emissions as part of their demands.

However speaking on Tipp Today Imelda Walsh said farmers shouldn’t be the only ones to make sacrifices:

“At the end of the day, farmers produce a high-quality product in a sustainable way. There has been no account taken in relation to our hedgerows, type of grass we grow in this country, how many advances have been made in relation to breeding.

“We have seen a huge decrease – they say once the cars went off the road [during the lockdown] there was a complete lowering of emissions.

“There has to be a scientific basis in relation to what the Greens are suggesting. You can’t just say you want something. You have to actually have the scientific evidence to support that.”

Meanwhile, Imelda Walsh also says that the reopening of marts next month will be difficult from a number of perspectives.

Like many other businesses they have been closed for weeks now due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some marts have taken to online sales as a way around the restrictions.

However, she says this may not suit some farmers:

“A lot of them are of an older age and would have been more familiar with the mart setting and everything else. We have a date of the 8th of June for the reopening of marts but unfortunately by then a lot of cattle will have traded because farmers that need stock would have been buying it for grass in April and May.

“So, it’s going to be difficult to say the least. With adhering to social distancing, you’re not going to have the same numbers of buyers around the ring. So it is posing big, big challenges. But we have to embrace those challenges.”