Irish farmers urged to grow crops amid war-driven shortages


Dairy and beef farmers in Ireland have been urged to start growing crops as commodity prices continue to soar amid the war in Ukraine.

The pressure comes as DEFRA Minister George Eustice along with agricultural ministers from G7 countries due to meet on 11 March to discuss grain shortages and food price volatility.

Earlier this week, Ukraine announced it would cease exports of rye, barley, buckwheat, millet, sugar, salt and meat for the rest of the year.

READ MORE: Ukraine crisis to see 50% drop in global crop yields

Government data shows Ukraine supplies 20% of the UK’s cereals through wheat exports, which have steadily risen for six consecutive days.

Food shortages exasperated by the war, have experienced rates not seen since the second world war, where Britons were encouraged to farm self-sufficiently where possible.

As a result, the Irish agricultural minister Charlie McConalogue has asked farmers to increase crops grown to offset food supply issues from the Russian invasion.

In turn, farmers have asked the government for financial support through €2,000 (£1,670) vouchers to aid with fertilisation costs.

However, Irish farmers primarily source beef and dairy. Therefore, this would be the first time Irish producers would be asked to grow grains since the second world war.

“I think one of the most economical things that any farm can do is consider planting some grain this year and they should look at that and consider their options,” McConalogue advised.

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