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Farmers protest at Stormont over falling food prices

Hundreds of people have attended a Stormont protest about falling food prices.

Some dairy farmers have said they face going out of business if the amount they are paid for milk does not rise.

They have held protests at supermarkets to show their frustration that they are paid less than the cost of production.

Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill said: "The fact that farmers, processors, feed merchants, the Agri-Food Strategy Board and others are represented here shows the depth of concern right along the supply chain.

"This mobilisation sends a powerful message to the European Commission, and indeed the British government, that we are not prepared to stand by and watch our most important industry collapse."

The Ulster Farmers' Union organised the demonstration to highlight the impact the crisis is having on the entire agri-food economy.

The minister said: "We share a common concern about the fall in prices and how that translates into prices below the cost of production, the effect on business profitability and the direct impact that this is having on farmers and their families.

"I am doing everything I can at a political and practical level to support the industry through the current crisis."

The global dairy crisis has been caused by a Russian ban on imports, reduced demand from China, adverse exchange rates and increased milk production in some countries.

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