By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

MAJOR26 August 2007: Major Conference on Animal Production opens in Dublin

Mr John Browne, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food, officially opened the 58th Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production, at University College Dublin, on Sunday 26th August.

Addressing the more than 800 European delegates, the Minister stated that "investment in research is pivotal in ensuring that we meet future challenges facing the agriculture and food sector". He congratulated the Scientific Committee for capturing such a noteworthy theme as "Sustainable Animal Production - Meeting the Challenges for Quality Food. Sustainability presents a challenge for all concerned." The Minister continued: "A challenge for researchers to provide the best science based knowledge for cost effective sustainable and animal welfare friendly animal production, a challenge for farmers to deliver quality produce at competitive prices in an environmentally sustainable way, and, most of all, a challenge to all involved along the whole food chain from the farm to the fork to have a unified approach to ensuring the highest food safety and quality standards are achieved."

The Minister told delegates that the Irish Government has greatly increased its funding for research in recent years. Last year Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation, which will run until 2013, was launched.

"This Strategy," he said, "sets out the roadmap whereby Ireland can develop as a knowledge based economy, and it explicitly recognises that the development of a sustainable agriculture and food sector and bio economy is vital to our national economic well-being." The Strategy foresees a doubling of both research funding and in the number of PhD's produced. "This is not a doubling for the sake of it," said the Minister, "but rather a vision of building a capability among the best young people to fuel the knowledge economy."

Continuing the Minister said that the Department of Agriculture and Food is the primary funding agency for agricultural and food research in Ireland. It provides core funding to Teagasc, the National Institute for Research, Advice and Education in Agriculture and Food, as well as funding through competitive programmes for which Teagasc and the Third Level Institutes compete. The Minister pointed out that these programmes provide significant funding for research in the animal bio-sciences.

Minister Browne said that agriculture has been quick to embrace scientific and technological advances and nowhere is this more evident than in animal production. "I think it is safe to say that animal production is our forte in Irish agriculture, both in terms of the quality of what we produce and the methods and manner in which we produce it," he said.

In conclusion, the Minister hoped that the delegates would not only get a flavour of what is happening in research in Ireland, but that they would also have an opportunity to capture some of the sights, sounds and tastes of Ireland during their stay.

26 August 2007

Date Released: 26 August 2007