The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) have welcomed the appointment of Donegal’s Charlie McConalogue as the new Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Following a specially convened virtual meeting of the association’s National Council last night, the INHFA President Colm O’Donnell stated that” there is a huge sense of goodwill amongst our membership for both Mr. Mc Conalogue and his family and we wish him the very best on his new appointment. The INHFA looks forward to building a good working relationship with the Minister over the coming years”.
“I have requested an early meeting with the Minister” continued O Donnell, “to present him with the INHFA pre budget submission and outline key priorities and concerns on behalf of our members and their farm families. Among those priorities are, that Minister McConalogue strives to become the Minister representing all sectors within Agriculture and that his duty of care extends equally to ensure the sustainability of all farmers, whether they be from the Golden Vale or the Top of the Mountain. ”
Concluding, the farm leader pointed out that Minister McConalogue is well aware of the INHFA position on a number of issues having attended numerous events held by the INHFA in his previous position as opposition spokesperson on Agriculture, particularly regarding;
• Our concerns surrounding the proposals in the EU Biodiversity Strategy to designate additional land,
• The critical need to provide additional direct supports for Suckler Cows by way of a front loaded welfare type scheme,
• Building on the success of the sheep welfare scheme with increased payments ,
• The fairer redistribution of Cap payments,
• Our worries surrounding the proposed wording of GAEC 2 regarding appropriate protection of carbon rich soils,
• A well funded environmental scheme that’s tailored to the needs of different types of farming including all farmers currently without a scheme available to them.