Fine Gael’s agricultural group presents plan for a new partnership with farmers across the Midlands-North West – MEP Walsh

Fine Gael’s National Agricultural, Food, and Rural Development Forum (NAFRD) has a plan to create a new partnership with farmers across the Midlands-North West, Fine Gael MEP Maria Walsh has said.

Since its formation, NAFRD has held a series of public meetings with farmers, rural dwellers and agri-businesses around the country. At the Fine Gael Ard Fheis, Taoiseach Simon Harris requested that NAFRD bring forward a report detailing a plan on how action could be taken on the feedback received. 

MEP Walsh said: 

“Fine Gael values the essential role farmers across the Midlands-North West play in our economy and our society. 

“The agri-food sector employs over 170,000 people, making a hugely significant economic and social contribution to rural and coastal communities, including communities across the Midlands-North West. 

“There is a bright future for this sector. We must continue to work with the farming community to address the challenges ahead and this policy contains a number of significant recommendations and charts a pathway forward.”

NAFRD Chairman Eddie Downey said:

“When I put my name forward to chair Fine Gael’s National Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Forum, I did so because I believed this party sees a future for Irish agriculture. 

“Agriculture is Ireland’s oldest and most important indigenous industry; its future must never be dominated by uncertainty or indifference.

“That is why this group was formed. Over the last two years, we have travelled the countryside canvassing the views of farmers, rural dwellers and business people. The report is a summary of the main issues raised at our meetings and a set of recommendations formulated by this forum.”

The report covers five main areas – the future of CAP, farm succession, a reform of land leasing, climate and environmental issues, and protecting rural life. It will be considered by Fine Gael in the formulation of future agricultural and rural policy.