13 Feb 2012
‘ACTION PLANS FOR JOBS’ INITIATIVE MUST SUPPORT PRIMARY AGRICULTUREUncategorized
Reacting to the Government’s ‘2012 Action Plan for Jobs’, IFA President John Bryan said reaching the targets for the agri-food sector in <i>Food Harvest 2020 </i>depends on Government investment in primary agriculture.
Mr Bryan stated, “Export figures for 2011 show that the agri-food and drinks sector outperformed the general economy. Food and drink exports increased to their highest level ever, to almost €9bn in 2011.”
He continued, “Farm schemes are critical in driving production and underpinning farm incomes. Farming is the economic backbone of rural towns and villages and increased output at farmgate level supports the creation of jobs in the processing, marketing, tourism and retail industries.”
John Bryan said, “In addition, the on-farm investment that will be undertaken by farmers in the coming years in order to achieve the growth targets set out in <i>Food Harvest 2020 </i>will stimulate economic activity and jobs at farm level. Access to credit at a competitive rate will be critical to fund this expansion.”
In the short term, the Government must ensure that the funding allocation for the on-farm investment programme, TAMS, is fully utilised. In CAP post-2013, measures for farm efficiency, restructuring, innovation and training must form part of Ireland’s Rural Development programme, aimed at all sectors with potential for expansion.”