Farm contractors’ views on issues such as rural employment, the black economy and road safety should feature in rural development programmes, two industry groups said at a European Parliament briefing in Brussels yesterday.
Members of the European Organisation of Agricultural and Rural Contractors and of Farm Contractors Ireland said their sector plays a key role in the agri-sector by providing services to farmers across the range of farm enterprises including forestry and also providing services to local authorities in managing public green spaces.
MEP Máiréad McGuinness, who hosted the briefing, said: “Farm Contractors Ireland made a strong case for more active engagement in the implementation of the rural development programme in Ireland, pointing out the potential for job creation.
Issues of road safety were also raised and we have committed ourselves to assisting the sector in getting these issues addressed at national level.
“I have written to the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney asking him to take account of the views of the contractor body.
“Farm Contractors Ireland have made a submission to the department on how they see a role for them in the new rural development programme and it should be given due consideration,” she added.
“The European Organisation of agricultural and rural contractors participates in many EU expert groups and in consultations with the EU Commission,” said Ms McGuinness, leader of the Fine Gael delegation in the European Parliament.
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