Barry calls on Taoiseach to establish Agri Review Board for NAMA.
In light of the case of a large scale piggery faced with destroying tens of thousands of animals because of NAMA’s intransigence, Tom Barry TD is to call on the Taoiseach to establish an Agricultural Review Board to ensure that farms are not shut down by NAMA.
The Cork East TD has now written to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny asking for the appointment of a Junior Minister with direct responsibility for NAMA.
Deputy Barry has tabled a Dail question asking: “Would the Taoiseach consider the establishment of an Agricultural Review Board within NAMA in light of NAMA shutting down viable agricultural industries and forcing the unnecessary slaughter of animals because of the lack of understanding of how the agricultural industry operates. NAMA’s current practices are creating a situation where indigenous industries are being shut down by NAMA which will inevitably lead to increased food imports and loss of jobs.
“Farming is a cyclical industry and at this moment in time the pig industry is on a down turn. Each pig farmer was losing €15 per pig produced, but the figure is now approaching parity. But this situation will return to profitability as grain markets across the world are rising and milk markets are rising, so pigmeat will follow. Unfortunately, with the particular pig producer concerned, he has now entered NAMA; and his pig business, which is inherently profitable in the medium term, is being treated by NAMA in a fashion which illustrates that they do not understand farming and, in particular, the pig industry. This particular individual is being crippled by property debt and NAMA are looking to shut down the profitable element of his business, pig production. This lack of understanding from NAMA is worrying in the sense that the taxpayer, who expects NAMA to deliver, is being let down. NAMA is acting like a secretive organisation and it is not even dealing directly with its own clients. This morning on RTE’s Morning Ireland Joe Costello TD asked that the Freedom of Information be employed to resolve the communication difficulties, but I believe a Junior Minister portfolio would be justified in this case. Clients find NAMA elusive and difficult to contact and a lot of its decisions are being conveyed by making no decision at all. In this particular case, it appears that anything up to 57,000 pigs may have to be slaughtered, because NAMA fails to understand the situation. They need to separate out problem areas from the viable businesses, to keep the viable businesses in operation. NAMA seems to be applying the tactic of just shutting down every business. If this was what was envisaged first day we would not have needed such a large organisation.
NAMA should be there to extract as much value for the taxpayer and keep as many viable operations in existence as possible; but they lack the expertise, particularly in the agricultural sector. They fail to realise that the pig industry will be highly profitable in the medium term. If we allow our strategic indigenous industry to fail, or allow NAMA to let them fail, we will become dependent on even more exports and, therefore, drive food inflation even higher. It is in the strategic interests of this country to ensure that our indigenous industries, creating local jobs, are kept going.