O’Neill Underlines Support For Farming Community At Ploughing Championships At Lisburn Park

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill today told farmers that she remains determined to do all she can during these challenging times for the agri-food industry.

[caption id="attachment_59379" align="alignleft" width="330"]DARD Minister Michelle O'Neill chats to some o fteh contestants in the NAtional Ploughing Competition. DARD Minister Michelle O’Neill chats to some o fteh contestants in the NAtional Ploughing Competition.[/caption]

During a visit to the 72nd International Ploughing Championships at Balmoral Park, Lisburn, Minister O’Neill toured the exhibition stands along with Wilson Holden, Chair of the NIPA, where she met farmers and members of the wider agricultural trade.

She said: “Our agri-food industry is currently facing challenging times due to a number of global factors. I recently secured a £5.1m support package for our dairy farmers, but I’m aware that other sectors are also facing challenges. I will continue to support our farming community and will do all within my power to identify opportunities to strengthen the agri-food industry in the north.”

As she toured the Championships to meet with exhibitors Minister O’Neill said: “Since moving to this great location last year, the international Ploughing Championships have been able to expand to include many more attractions and trade stands as well as the ploughing.

“My Department has a long history of supporting this local event and at the DARD exhibition stand, officials and I discussed current areas of interest, such as CAP Reform and the new Rural Development Programme, with the farming community.”

She added: “The international ploughing championships offer a great day out and is a major showcase attraction for our local agri-food industry and the farming community alike.”