Minister must act on falling farm incomes – Byrne

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SDLP Spokesperson for Agriculture and Vice Chairman of the Agriculture Committee, Joe Byrne MLA has called for the Agriculture Minister to take urgent action to counter the falling income of the province’s farming industry.

Mr Byrne highlighted the turmoil of dairy industry as particularly concerning for agriculture.

He said: “I have a major concern for the drop in farming prices that is creating uncertainty and great financial stress for many farmers. I am particularly anxious that our largest sector dairy farming which has seen a drop of 6% last year.

“I have requested that the Agriculture committee write to Commissioner Phil Hogan in Brussels and press for the introduction of a new intervention scheme for dairy products.

“This is an essential step 
if milk prices are to be stabilised and restore a sense of order in the markets across Europe.

“It is also crucial that Michelle O’Neill lobbies effectively in London with the DEFRA Minister, Liz Truss, in order to create a sense of urgency for the dairy sector in NI,” he added.