Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson will meet European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, tomorrow to raise concerns from farming communities across Ireland.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Ms Anderson said;
“Farming communities and those involved in the agriculture industry right across Ireland have serious concerns about key issues facing their futures.
“One of the main issues of concern and one that I come across time and time again when dealing with farmers is the need to simplify the Rural Development Programme in the North. Farmers in the 26 counties are also awaiting progress on the outstanding issues of the Rural Development Programme in the South.
“It is waiting approval in Europe and was supposed to be completed this month and now we have been told it has been put back to June. I will be pressing Phil Hogan to ensure there is no further delay.
“Many people in agricultural communities are also concerned about the Young Farmers Scheme and have called for flexibilities to be built into the outworking of the scheme. I will be raising this with the commissioner to see if any is any room for manoeuvre.
“Farmers have been campaigning for fairer prices for their produce at supermarkets. They have called on the Commissioner to adopt the principles of the groceries code adjudicator, which he agreed to when he took office, so I will be seeking an update on the progress of that initiative.
“Sinn Féin is committed to standing up for farmers and rural communities across Ireland and will continue to campaign to ensure they get a fair deal.”