Creation of a committee to examine the impact of the invasion of Ukraine on Irish food security

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A national committee is to be set up to examine the impact of the invasion of Ukraine on Irish food security.

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue met with agricultural organizations and Teagasc to discuss the impact on Irish farming and supply chains.

During the meeting, Mr. McConalogue and his collaborators described the challenge facing farmers in the short and long term, with supply chains in the region likely to be disrupted for some time.

They described huge volumes of global feed and fertilizer as sourced and traded through Ukraine and Russia.

Mr McConalogue said the sector faced one of the biggest challenges in recent years.

“At times like these, we must take proactive steps to limit any potential disruption to our food and food supply chains,” he said.

“I know farmers will rise to the challenge and meet it head-on. By working collectively and collaboratively, we can ensure the sector is insulated against the worst of what could come from supply chain disruptions.

He tasked Teagasc with leading a national fodder and food security committee to explore all options to minimize the impact on farms and to plan for the short and medium term.

“Let’s be clear, there is urgency in the work of this committee and I have instructed them to meet and complete their work without delay,” he said.

“The first committee meeting is this Friday and there is a window of opportunity in the coming weeks to make decisions to help us build resilience. The work of the National Fodder and Food Security Committee is the number one priority. one from the department.

The minister will meet with representatives from the fertilizer, grain and import industries on Wednesday.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, the Irish Farmers’ Association urged the minister to come up with “real proposals that will increase capacity, not just sound bites”.

The IFA was expected to present a number of proposals at the meeting.

They called for tackling input costs – especially fuel, fertilizer and animal feed.

However, in a statement after the meeting, IFA President Tim Cullinane said the minister came to the meeting without any proposals.

“We haven’t seen any specific proposals needed to increase our ability to produce food. We need real government action on the price of fuel, fertilizer and animal feed,” he said.

He said farmers will play their part in any national effort, but the crushing impact of rising input prices must be considered.

“At our general meeting in January, I called on the minister to bring the sector together to set up an input task force,” he said.

“Although the Minister did so late, he must present concrete and funded proposals.”

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