Speaking at last week’s Institute of International & European Affairs’ Conference “A Flavour of the future” in the RDS Dublin, IFA President John Bryan said the growth in output of €600m in 2010 shows clearly that Irish agriculture will have a key role to play in increasing exports and jobs in the Irish economy.
The IFA President said “agriculture is extremely important to the Irish economy, supporting economic activity and 300,000 jobs in every town and parish in Ireland. Growth in agriculture has a huge knock-on effect to the rest of the Irish economy.”
“We create over €8billion in exports and agriculture and food is worth over €24billion to the Irish economy. The sector has great potential for further growth. With a world population set to grow to 9 billion by 2050, food production needs to increase by over 70% and Irish agriculture is well positioned to increase output in an environmentally sustainable manner.”
“Irish Agriculture has demonstrated its capacity to grow, however it must be properly supported by the Government. The maintenance of EU and Government Direct payments is a key issue for farmers across the country and these schemes must be protected in Budget 2012 and EU CAP post-2013 reform.”
Mr Bryan said “Irish farmers look to the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and the Government to support primary producers through the maintenance of these farm schemes.”
The IFA President concluded “in addition the Government must improve the competitive business environment in the country and do more to secure a fair share of the consumer spend for farmers in the food supply chain.”