Fine Gael MEP Colm Markey has said he is disappointed in his parliamentary colleague Ciarán Cuffe following reports the Green MEP wrote to banks about lending practices to young farmers. Markey has joined calls for clarity from the party regarding its views on agricultural investment in light of the letter. MEP Markey said young farmers are serious about the need to develop new methods and innovations to meet climate targets and it is crucial they have access to financial backing.
“I was disappointed to read reports that Dublin MEP Ciarán Cuffe contacted banks about their lending practices to young farmers. Young farmers are progressive and care deeply about the need to innovate and invest in new technology during the green transition. If we starve them of cash, the industry simply won’t progress. This is about young farmers setting themselves up and supporting a more environmentally sustainable future. The Green Party has questions to answer about this issue and I am calling on Eamon Ryan and his colleagues to offer an explanation.
This is part of a wider trend in which Green MEPs attempt to grab headlines of fly kites without fully understanding the issues at hand. Recently, a last minute Green amendment passed at the Animal Transport Committee, which would effectively ban the transport of young calves from Ireland. This would actually cause more harm than good and could potentially lead to disease outbreaks on Irish farms. We need to call out those who choose to ignore the implications of their decisions, particularly when it doesn’t directly affect their own constituents whether that be in Luxembourg or Dublin”, he concluded.