High cost of fertiliser for farmers must be tackled – DEERING

29th June, 2016

Fine Gael TD for Carlow, Pat Deering, has said today that the high cost of fertiliser for farmers must be tackled.

“The huge cost of fertiliser is a serious concern for farmers in Carlow and across the country.

“The cost has been high for a number of years now and unfortunately it has not decreased, as might have expected, with the reduction in the cost of a barrel of oil, which is one of the feed-in costs to the production of fertiliser.

“The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), has commissioned a report from the International Food Policy Research Institute, which shows that the high cost is due to the failure of competition, within the Single Market and the European Union.

“When it comes to fertiliser production there are just a few players and the prices are staying high. It is estimated that this is costing farmers in Europe approximately €1 billion per year.

“I’m now urging the Minister for Agriculture, to tackle this issue as a matter of urgency.

“I’m calling on Minister Creed to investigate opening up the market to imports from outside the European Union. At present, there are very high tariffs and taxes, but if that can be tackled, it would deal with the competition issue, that is leading to the high prices. This would allow cheaper fertiliser to be available for farmers to purchase, which could see a saving of up to €70 million per annum for Irish farmers.

“Tackling this issue successfully, by reducing the price of this essential farming commodity, would see money put back in the pockets of our hard pressed farmers.

“This is a very important issue which has gone on far too long and needs to be addressed.”