Dáil Éireann - Volume 303 - 08 February, 1978

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Feed Compounds.

11. Mr. Meaney asked the Minister for Agriculture if his Department are satisfied with the present use of Irish barley in various feed compounds; and if it is likely that present stocks will be used up before the next season's crop comes on the market.

Mr. Gibbons: Although statistics are not available of the quantity of Irish barley in various feed compounds the indications are that the quantity being used has increased in recent months but there is still scope for additional usage both in compounds and for feeding straight to livestock. The disposal of present stocks before the next harvest depends on the extent of the usage here and on the continuance of the present level of exports.

Mr. D'Arcy: Is it right to say that any barley left in the stores at the end of the season can be put in intervention?

Mr. Gibbons: It is not as simple as that. It can be put into intervention but it will have to be stored somewhere. The danger that barley actually in intervention can still be stored in our own stores that we require to handle the coming harvest, still exists, and the Department of Agriculture are in conference with the trade to determine the extent of the likely carry-over and the means for handling next year's harvest.

Mr. D'Arcy: Is it true that they can be stored outside the country in intervention and that there are stores available?

Mr. Gibbons: Yes.

Mr. D'Arcy: This message—that it can be stored outside the country— should be clearly given because there is a certain amount of fear among farmers at the moment——

Mr. Gibbons: I thought everybody knew that in view of the fact that there are intervention stores of beef and [836] other CAP products in Britain, Belgium and elsewhere.