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Minister of State McEntee Welcomes Proposed Third-Level Course in Organic Horticulture.

Based in Skibberreen, county Cork and linked to UCC

Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has welcomed plans by UCC to develop an outreach third-level programme in Organic Horticultural Crop Production on an estate in West Cork.  

The proposed MSc in Organic Horticultural Crop Production is expected to be accredited and supported by UCC through the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, which was established in May, 2010. On a visit to the Liss Ard Estate in the Skibbereen area of West Cork where plans to develop a third level horticulture college are at an advanced stage, the Minister of State welcomed the proposed course as "a positive step towards providing the levels of expertise needed to develop the organic horticulture sector in Ireland to its full potential".

"The proposed course is scheduled to commence in September, 2012. Initially, an annual intake of 15 students is envisaged," the Minister said. "It will help to improve the knowledge base of the sector and to promote best practice. I want to commend community leaders in West Cork for the initiative they have shown in promoting this innovative development".

Note for Editors - UCC School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

  • University College Cork (UCC) is situated 84 km from Liss Ard, Skibberreen, county Cork. The university has almost 20,000 full-time students, including more than 3,500 postgraduates, and a total of 1,660 academics and research staff.
  • The proposed MSc programme would be accredited and supported by UCC through the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences http://www.ucc.ie/en/bees/. The School was established in May 2010 and is composed of the academic disciplines of Geology, Environmental Science, Zoology, Ecology and Plant Science, which are based on a single site in the North Mall Campus.
  • There are undergraduate programmes in Ecology, Environmental Sciences, Earth Science, Geology, Environmental Plant Biotechnology and Zoology, and postgraduate programmes in Marine Biology and Ecological Assessment as well as an active Doctoral Graduate School.
  • Current research in the School which would be of particularly relevance to organic horticulture include the use of seaweed extracts for increasing crop yield and disease resistance, plant breeding, biological control of crop pests, optimisation of vermicomposting, use of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment and the use in horticulture of waste streams like shellfish waste, wood ash and potato peel.
  • The research project element of the MSc programme and the involvement of UCC School of BEES could allow Liss Ard to develop into the first Organic Horticultural Crop Research Centre in Ireland, providing a steady stream of research results of direct relevance to organic growing.

 

Liss Ard Minister’s visit  (L to R) Professor Jones of UCC, Minister of State of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Shane McEntee TD and Roman Stern, owner of Liss Ard estate, Skibberreen, county Cork.

  

Liss Ard Minister’s visit  (L to R) Arthur Little, Manager of Liss Ard estate, Skibbereen, county Cork, Professor Peter Jones of UCC, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Shane McEntee TD, Jim Daly TD and Roman Stern, owner of Liss Ard.

 

Date Released: 31 October 2011