Seminar looking at the future of Irish agriculture
OVER 250 farmers attended the AIB ‘Future Prospects for Irish Agriculture’ seminar which took place recently in the Riverside Hotel, Macroom.
The event, chaired by former president of Macra Na Feirme Alan Jagoe, had a strong line up of speakers including Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, Chief Executive of Carbery Group, Jason Hawkins and AIB Agri Advisor, Donal Whelton who all discussed the current and future long-term outlook for the agri sector.
While all speakers reflected on the challenging conditions experienced on farm at present, it was reform of the 2020 Common Agricultural Policy, Brexit and farm investment that evoked the most lively discussion and engagement at the event.
And while it was clear that there are a number of challenges ahead, speakers also reflected on the strong image and reputation of Irish produce on international markets and the opportunities presented by a growing global population and the increasing demand for protein in their diets.
In his presentation, Minister Creed, acknowledged that any form of Brexit would cause issues for Ireland. He added that his Department, along with Bord Bia, is constantly working on developing new markets for Irish food products.
Minister Creed added that his Department is working hard to ensure that Irish farmers get their fair share of the budget in the new reformed CAP post 2020.
Jason Hawkins gave an insight into some of the expanding markets Irish farmers are selling their produce into and he also discussed the opportunity for growth in the developing economies of Asia.
He noted that in some of these countries cheese consumption is still only 20 per cent of the level that is consumed in developed countries such as the USA. Mr Hawkins also added that Ireland is one of the most carbon efficient producers of dairy products in the world, which is a key selling point for Carbery Group.
Donal Whelton, acknowledged the challenges the weather conditions had created on farm, both from a fodder and also a financial perspective this year and he encouraged those in attendance to complete a cashflow budget for the months ahead.
Mr Whelton also noted the advances the industry has made in recent years, pointing to that fact that Ireland produced 34 per cent more milk in 2017 in comparison to 1984, with 10 per cent less cows.
Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Cork North West TD Michael Creed, addresses the crowd.
AIB Agri Matters Seminar: Head of AIB Cork County, John O’Doherty, addresses the packed AIB Agri Matters Seminar recently held at the Riverside Park Hotel, Macroom. Pictures: John Delea.
Minister for Agriculture, Food Fo & the Marine, Cork North West TD Michael Creed, addresses d the th AIB Agri Matters Seminar recently e held h at the Riverside Park Hotel, Macroom. Picture: John Delea. D