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The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Farmers after the Big Freeze

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Michael Bergin

His entire farming crop has been decimated as a result of the big freeze. Michael estimates this loss to be €40,000. Just about all of his existing crop is gone - this includes two acres of golden potatoes and four acres of carrots as well as other plots of vegetables


Michael Bergin - the Farmer
He sells all kinds of vegetables to small shops and at Cillin Hill, a farmer's markets and car boot sales in Kilkenny.
It is estimated that 20 % of last years potato crop will not be recovered, leading to losses of 15 million for Irelands farmers. Between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of the crop was still in the ground when torrential November rain made it impossible to harvest. It is estimated that 6,000 acres of potatoes across the country remain unharvested.


The current position of the Government since the big freeze on farmers:
Frost Damage to the potato crop which growers said will cost them EUR 15 million is to be assessed by Department of Agriculture officials, it was recently agreed.


According to the IFA:
There is no grant or any kind of financial assistance yet available to farmers as a result of the bad weather.


What the IFA want:
The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) plans to appeal to the Government for compensation for Mr Bergin (our case study) and other farmers like him in Kilkenny who were hit hard by the freeze


Note:
Just a not on this - the cost of the damage on farming/farmers has been linked with potatoes. Michael has lost two acres of potatoes but also has other veg., like carrots which has been lost as a result of the frost.


According to the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) the estimate of the damage of other vegetables would not be known yet - the most damage has been done to the potatoes.. Also, because Michael is inland in Kikenny, the frost is much worse there and it would affect his other vegetables as well, not just his potatoes..

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