Cllr Fitzpatrick said: “As the largest private sector industry in Northern Ireland, agriculture, has a central role to play in the achievement of a successful future both environmentally and economically.”
“Farmers are custodians of our environment and we need to ensure that they are wholeheartedly supported in their efforts to produce the food required to meet demand from local people. For instance, they should be exempted from taxation duties on bio-fuels similar to their counterparts in the Republic of Ireland.
“I am pleased that all of the political parties support the ‘Five Steps to a Better Future’ policy document prepared by the Ulster Farmers’ Union and hope that they will work together in the new Assembly so that these essential measures are implemented at the earliest opportunity.
“It is vital that farmers are relieved of all the unnecessary bureaucracy which hampers their productivity and adds to the stress of modern life. It is also vital that all the parties work together to do battle on their behalf to get the best deal from Brussels.
Councillor Fitzpatrick concluded: “We have listened carefully to what farmers and their representatives outlined concerning ways in which the new Assembly can help them through this difficult period.”