This crisis must be a wakeup call. We need policies that will ensure our food sovereignty.    

We are facing a serious crisis later in this year if farmers cannot access fertiliser, according to Social Democrats Agriculture Spokesperson Holly Cairns.

“I met with local representatives of the Irish Farmers’ Association and the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association this week to discuss the current challenges facing farmers and food producers, including the shortage of fertiliser.

“Since autumn, fertiliser prices have skyrocketed. Some farmers have only been able to buy a portion of what is needed for the year – while others have not been able to purchase any at all. This situation is made even worse with a shortage of supply which affects farmer’s capacity to grow sillage. The Minister for Agriculture must put in place a process to secure emergency access to fertiliser to prevent a crisis this winter.

“The Ukrainian conflict has again shown our dependence on global food chains. From potential shortages in wheat and sunflower oil, to the scarcity of fertiliser, we need a new approach to food security. The Department of Agriculture failed to learn the lessons from the pandemic. This crisis must be a wakeup call. We need policies that will ensure our food sovereignty.

“There is broad agreement on the need to move away from our dependency on imported chemical fertiliser, but this will be a complicated and gradual process. That needs to start now. In the meantime, the government must prioritise a plan to secure access to fertiliser and finance especially for small farmers.”

22 March, 2022


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