Minister Michael Creed appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriclture, Food and the Marine yesterday, to brief the Committee on the fodder crisis.
The meeting was requested by Mayo Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin last week, during the parliamentary recess, in order to address the issue.
Minister Creed confirmed that he will be meeting with the main banks in order to ensure that farmers can access credit during this time and also confirmed that the €1.5m limit on the fodder support scheme would be raised, should it be necessary to continue the support.
Members of the committee also raised the issue of inspections and the added pressure that they could bring at this time. It was suggested that a case be made for inspections to be waived under the fodder shortage is resolved. Flexibility in relation to credit was also cited as vital and meal vouchers were another subject raised as an option for farmers who fields are still too water-logged for grass to grow and who cannot put their animals out to grass yet.
The Committee members welcomed the assistance measures announced by the Minister, which include extending the closing dates for various schemes and greater operational flexibility for road hauliers engaged in the transport of fodder.