IFA WELCOMES SUPPORT FOR IRISH HORTICULTURE IN CLIMATE ACTION REPORT
Commenting in advance of the official launch of the report from the Oireachtas Joint Committee on climate action, IFA Horticulture Chairman Paul Brophy, has welcomed the recommendations regarding the expansion of the Irish Horticulture sector.
Agreeing with the findings of the report the chairman said there are opportunities for import substitution and farm diversification by directing increased resources to the sector. “For example, the expansion of our apple sector would both benefit the economy form reducing imports while also contributing to carbon sequestration. However, as the report pointed out there is a lack of investment in this area including the absence of a full time Teagasc advisor which has stymied its development”, he said.
The chairman added, that if the Irish Horticulture sector is to benefit commercially from the trend towards more plant-based diets then the government must implement policies to create a robust and sustainable sector. “To date the government has failed in this regard with its refusal to regulate against unsustainable discounting and to appoint an independent retail regulator to police the grocery market”, he said.
Paul Brophy concluded by acknowledging the positive contribution of the ‘Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of The Commercial Horticulture Sector’ to the industry. “The scheme is essential for the continued development and competitiveness of Irish horticulture and must be continued indefinitely post 2019 with an increased budget allocation”, he said.