Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, has said that Food Wise 2025, Ireland’s ten year strategy for the agri-food Sector, announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney TD, is a strong statement of the potential of the agri-food sector in leading Ireland’s economic recovery.
“With over 350 recommendations, Food Wise 2025 sets out a comprehensive plan for the development of Ireland’s agri-food sector over the next decade. It is a strong statement focusing on the importance of the agri-food sector to our country’s economic goals. The Government is rebuilding our economy and we are on track to deliver full employment by 2018. The agri-food sector has a crucial role to play in achieving this objective and creating a successful, sustainable national economy.
“But this is about more than the economy. It is about sustaining rural communities. The agri-food sector is the backbone of many rural communities in the North County. There are roughly 970 growers in Fingal whose produce has an estimated total farm gate value of €81 million. In fact, 55% of Ireland’s fresh produce is grown in Fingal including 14.5% of the national potato yield and 47% of the national field vegetable production. I am encouraged to see that there is such a strong focus on rural diversification, entrepreneurial development and agri-food and marine tourism. Support for these areas is vital if we are to create a sustainable rural economy for the future.
“Food Wise 2025 is underscored by ambitious but achievable goals. Chief among these goals is that the agri-food sector will help deliver a further 23,000 jobs by 2025. Over the next decade Ireland can increase the value of agri-food exports by 85% to €19 billion, the value added to the sector by 70% to €13 billion and the value of primary production by 65% to €10 billion.
“There is a real opportunity to capitalise on the growing global demand for high quality, safe and nutritious food. I believe that the plan outlined in Food Wise 2025 will benefit farmers across Dublin Fingal and assist in making our rural communities stronger.”