Union welcomes fertiliser report

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The Ulster Farmers’ Union has welcomed a new report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) showing that farmers stand to gain if import duties on fertilisers and anti-dumping duties were removed.

“The report, commissioned by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), comes at a time when fertiliser prices remain high, despite plunging energy costs – and in the past we were told oil and gas prices drove fertiliser prices,” said UFU deputy president Barclay Bell.

He added that for some time this has been having a damaging impact on farm incomes.

“There are real concerns around the reasons behind the price farmers are paying for fertiliser,” said Mr Bell.

The UFU says it supports the IFA in its call for the European Commission to improve the competitive position of European agriculture by suspending and ultimately removing import tariffs on fertilisers.

“By just removing tariffs and anti-dumping duties, farmers could see an average price reduction of five per cent – and this would be worth more than £800 million to the hard-pressed farming industry across Europe,” said Mr Bell.