To secure and further improve its services to the Pig Sector, Teagasc requested funding assistance from Irish pig farmers. It is a key recommendation in the Development strategy for the Irish Pig Industry 2008 to 2015 that the sector should part fund Teagasc Research, Knowledge Transfer and Education services via a producer levy. Producers agreed to this request and thereafter a Pig Joint Programme was agreed with the IFA National Pigs and Pig meat Committee. The purpose of the Joint Programme is to support pig producers by providing research, advice and education across a range of issues of importance to the sector and which impact on the quality and marketability of Irish pig meat. Under the Joint Programme producers contribute 10 cent per pig towards Teagasc Pig Research, Knowledge Transfer and Education/Training. This was agreed for an initial five year term. This money will help fund staff (Research, Advisory & Technical) to carry out a Teagasc/IFA agreed Joint Programme focused on a number of issues.
The high level objective of the Joint Programme is to enhance the sustainability of Irish pig meat production which includes improvements in economic, social and environmental standards. This will result in improvements in the production and marketability of Irish pig meat.
The Joint Programme includes Research, Advice & Training on such areas as those listed below.
Research is being conducted in the following areas:
- Nutrition & feeding
- Pig Health and Welfare
- Food safety
The advisory services provided for the Joint Programme include:
Herd Performance Monitoring using the Teagasc PigSys system:
- Producers will receive an annual farm visit (upon request) to prepare /review an Annual Business Plan
- Discussion Groups, workshops, newsletters and the annual Teagasc Pig Farmers’ Conference
Education & Training
Producers may register participants on the FETAC pig course, conducted jointly by the Pig Development Department and Clonakilty and Ballyhaise Agricultural Colleges to ensure pig farm operatives are trained to the highest standards of animal husbandry and management.