[Sinn Fein]

26th February 2003

Ferris Urges All Ireland Initiative On Farming

The Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Agriculture and Rural Development, Martin Ferris TD has urged the IFA to participate in an All Ireland initiative on the problems facing Irish farmers. Ferris was speaking at a meeting of the Dáil Joint Committee on Agriculture and Food which was addressed by IFA President John Dillon.

Deputy Ferris said;

``There is a serious crisis facing Irish agriculture on both sides of the border. Indeed the situation of farmers in the Six Counties is probably even worse than for their counterparts in this state. It is ridiculous that agriculture should be subject to such different rules and regulations and I would strongly urge that the IFA make common cause with the northern farmers organisations to push for closer co-operation on all aspects of agriculture and rural development throughout the island.''

Deputy Ferris has also succeed in getting the Committee to agree to invite an all party group from the Assembly to meet the Committee in order to discuss various issues including CAP reform, disease prevention and the marketing of food. Ferris made the request on behalf of Gerry McHugh MLA, the Sinn Fein spokesperson on agriculture.

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