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Future Of Tillage Sector In Ireland

Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Future of the Tillage Sector in Ireland
November 2017
 
The Irish agricultural sector has always had its challenges; however there are opportunities for Irish producers if the correct supports are put in place.
In undertaking this body of work the Committee wished to explore the full range of actions which could benefit the tillage sector; of course, some options may not be feasible yet, while others could be implemented in the short-term.
 
The tillage sector and indeed all parts of the agricultural sector provide indispensable produce. While prices for produce seem rarely to meet the cost of production; farmers will be expected to produce ever more food. The global population is growing and is projected to continue growing at a substantial rate.
 
In the past some commentators suggested that agricultural production could not rise to the challenges of population growth:
Thankfully rather than accepting famine as inevitable some people set out to change the world through agricultural innovation. Norman Borlaug, known as father of the green revolution, is responsible for saving the lives of many millions of people globally. There will be a need for agricultural innovation in the coming decades to meet the challenges of this century and scientific innovation in its many forms is necessary. An open mind to scientific progress must be maintained.
 
The Committee is cognisant that there are a number of good practices that allow for sustainable food production and energy crops. These include sustainable intensification and mixed food and energy crop systems and utilising the efficient use of biomass for energy generation.
 
Scientific advancements have catapulted agricultural output upwards over the last century; from mechanisation to the green revolution, agriculture has gone from strength to strength. We should invest in agricultural science and we should maintain an open mind to concepts, which are now only
underdeveloped, but in decades to come may form the basis for meeting the ever-increasing global demand for food. The Committee also notes the evidence that agricultural research and development (R&D) is recognised as offering high rates of return.
 
The Committee’s report and recommendations are intended to provide a basis for engagement between stakeholders in formulating a Tillage Sector Plan. The discussions with stakeholders were critical to the development of this report and on behalf of the Committee I would like to thank all
stakeholders for their engagement with the Committee.
Pat Deering T.D.
Chairman
7 November 2017
 
 
 

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