IFA calls for government protection of agriculture industry

The Irish Farmers Association has called for the Irish government to look after and protect agricultural jobs and exports.

In the IFA's pre-budget submission published earlier today, the association says the agricultural economy is performing well and the farming body is urging the Government to take the new EU Rural Development Funding into account when making decisions.

Under the scheme, around €290m is available to Ireland every year until 2020, and the IFA wants to make sure all of it is delivered to the sector.

John Bryan, President of the IFA, said farmers ran up debts in 2012 due to cold and wet weather conditions.

"2012 was a wet year - some grass didn't perform, and farmers ran up debts. The spring of this year … were very cold," he explained.

He said farmers were now looking for the opportunity to clear those substantial debts.

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