A major report on the Horticulture industry in Ireland has been commissioned by the government. Independent experts have been consulted to identify and analyse opportunities which are emerging for the sector.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister of State Anne Rabbitte said:
We need a road map to chart the way forward in this valuable industry. The Horticulture sector output was worth a very considerable €467 million in 2020. It’s the 4th highest sector in terms of value, with only beef, dairy and pigs greater. It employs 6,600 full time staff in primary production with another 11,000 employed in downstream businesses. There is huge room for growth and development and this report help us build on what we are already doing.
The report will assess the current state of the horticulture industry in Ireland across its various sectors
- Field crops
- Protected crops
- Soft fruit
- Top fruit
It will analyse each sector in detail, covering a wide range of areas including:
- Climate change
- Organic and integrated production
- Routes to market
- Research and Development
- Transition to sustainable growing media and
- Knowledge management.
Welcoming the support of the Horticulture Industry Forum, IFA, Teagasc and Bord Bia, for the report, the Minister Hackett said:
The new Programme for Government, the new EU Farm to Fork and EU Biodiversity strategies, and the recently published AgClimatise Roadmap, all recognise the critical importance of food security, and this report, and the implementation plan that will follow, will allow the horticulture sector to continue to play a central role in maintaining national food security. I don’t underestimate the task. I know there are many areas to be explored but this is really important so I want this report to be delivered by April 2022