The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has established a dedicated taskforce with industry representatives in response to the severe market disruptions the conflict in Ukraine is having on the costs of food production here.
The Department has recognised that the increased costs of feed, fuel and fertiliser cannot be absorbed by farmers and must be transmitted down the supply chain quickly if the economic viability of primary production is to be sustained.
During the first meeting of the taskforce representatives from banks, producer and supply chain organisations and farming unions acknowledged the industry needs to be as prepared as it can be for further disturbances to supply chains as a result of a prolonged conflict in Ukraine
The taskforce will aim to jointly deliver technical support to the agri-food sector during this crisis, as well as ensuring farmers have access to timely and relevant advice to ensure they can make sound decisions now and therefore reduce impacts later in the year.
CAFRE advisers have already been in contact with farmers and growers to assess the situation on-farm in relation to feed and fertiliser. There is also a dedicated page on the CAFRE website dealing with the efficient use of fertilisers and manures.
The taskforce is now developing an action plan which will help inform the key advisory messages that need to be communicated out to the wider agriculture industry. Over the coming weeks and months there will be a series of in-person events as well as webinars and online focussed support.