Farmers from across the region travelled to Co Leitrim today to protest at what they claim is an “unworkable” fodder support scheme.

Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim farmers were all represented at the demonstration which took place at Department of Agriculture offices in Drumshanbo, with farmers calling for the immediate introduction of a meal voucher scheme for those experiencing fodder shortages.

The protest was organised by the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association, who say the Agriculture Minister has ignored the principal recommendation of the fodder committee, which was for a meal voucher scheme.

While the Minister did deliver a transport subsidy, its restrictive nature means it will not deliver for most farmers, according to National President Colm O’Donnell.

He wants licenced hauliers who traditionally source quality fodder to be involved in the transport subsidy scheme, and he’s calling for a change to the 100km zone for sourcing fodder.

The INHFA is also calling for square bales of hay and straw to be included in the scheme, and for local Agri stores to be added to the scheme where there is no Co-op in the area.

The organisation is calling on Minister Michael Creed to reconvene the fodder action group to address the problems with the scheme designed by his Department and the co-operatives.

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