SPEAKING during a visit to Balmoral Show, Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has said the return of the event was an important showcasing opportunity for the local agri-food industry.
The DUP Westminster Agri-culture spokesperson said: “It is fantastic to be back at Balmoral Show. Growing up on a farm the annual trip to Balmoral was always a big event in our household, and I know that is the case for thousands of people across Northern Ireland and beyond.
“The show provides a platform to showcase what makes our agri-food sector so special, and so successful. We have the world class produce on display for all to see, world class livestock, and the very best of local engineering on display, showing the expertise and skill within local companies in making world class machinery for the industry.
“This is an industry that de-mands continued support from government, both at Westminster and at Stormont. We have every right to be proud of what our farmers do, and as the backbone of our local economy we need to be supporting greater efficiency, investment in research and development, marketing local produce, and ensuring labour is available within processing.
“Furthermore, we must protect the industry from sub-standard imports and the danger posed by the Green Party Climate Bill. In terms of funding support, the uplift in BPS payments announced by my colleague Edwin Poots will be very welcome and help many family farms meet challenges posed by higher input costs.
“Speaking to farmers there is a resolve and confidence about the future and that is encouraging. Challenges remain but just like the show, their is a resolve to move ahead and build better for the future.”