All farmers to be told to plant crops amid fears of food security crisis

Government also plans to introduce swing mechanism for excise duty to stabilise petrol and diesel prices

Charlie McConalogue, the Minister for Agriculture, has assembled an emergency team within his department to develop a new scheme to encourage farmers to grow significantly more native grains this year. Picture: Clive Wasson

All Irish farmers will be asked to plant some of their land in wheat, barley and other grains, as part of emergency plans being drawn up by the government to offset a predicted food security crisis in Europe amid Russia’s ongoing assault on Ukraine, the Business Post understands.

It comes as the EU plans to introduce emergency measures to slash its energy dependence on Russia by rebuilding its reserve stocks of gas and oil, while also turning to alternative sources of energy commodities in other parts of the world. The Irish government, meanwhile, plans to bring in a “swing mechanism” for excise duty on fuel that means it would fluctuate in value depending on when oil prices go up or down in a bid to keep prices somewhat stable at the pumps.