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Minister McEntee - 'Rural Ireland will be main driver for Irish Economy'

Speaking in Nenagh at the Bank of Ireland Agri Seminar, the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Shane McEntee TD, stated that "one of the main drivers for the Irish economy over the next five years will come from rural Ireland".  The Minister referred in particular to the hundreds of indigenous food companies across the country.

Minister McEntee went on to state that the Government intends to drive a very aggressive growth agenda for the agri-food sector and to increase the value of exports from the sector to €12 billion by 2020.  He recognised the ambitiousness of this target saying how he was "consistently struck and encouraged by the tremendous positivity around agriculture and the agri-food sector.  There is a welcome and increasing realisation that the agri-food sector is one of those that will play a critical role in our economic recovery.  We have not alone a terrific story to tell, but we have an exciting story to tell - one full of enormous potential and ambition right across the various sectors".

The Minister also highlighted the Bank's role in developing the Agri-food industry through investment and urged everyone present to take advantage of the opportunity to hear what services are available.

Date Released: 27 January 2012