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Minister Creed's remarks at Project Ireland 2040 launch, UCC, 9 March 2018

Project Ireland 2040 - National Planning Framework

National Development Programme

  • Thank you Mr President. It’s nice to be back in my Alma Mater.
  • I’m pleased to say that Project Ireland 2040 acknowledges the importance of Ireland’s agri-food sector to Ireland’s economy and in particular to rural economies throughout the country.
  • The agri-food sector contributes 173,400 direct jobs and it is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry. The agri-food sector is more embedded in the local economy than any other sector, providing economic benefits to many rural communities.
  • Local Roots, Global Reach is the theme of Food Wise 2025 our collective strategy for the agri-food sector. This strategy demands we must communicate with and serve our customers by producing food sustainably with the highest environmental credentials and then get our product quickly and reliably to markets. NDP investment across many facets of infrastructure as well as in the sector itself will enable us to achieve that vision.

Turning to the agri-food specific  investments

ON FARM INVESTMENT

  • On-farm investment is delivered through the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes (TAMS).
  • TAMS aims to enable growth and competitiveness in the sector while addressing environmental and climate change issues, supporting the increased efficiency on holdings and improving animal health and welfare.
  • Within TAMS the Young Farmers Capital Investment Scheme aims to address one of the key structural issues in the sector by specifically targeting support at young trained farmers.

FORESTRY

  • Our biggest capital investment every year is the forestry sector. The current Forestry Programme (2014-2020) offers an ambitious and attractive set of forestry measures aimed at increasing timber production while at the same time improving the quality of the natural environment.
  • Forestry sector
    1. supports 12,000 full-time jobs in the rural economy.
    2. A significant and cost effective contribution to the National Climate Mitigation Plan through providing multiple benefits in terms of climate change mitigation through sequestration of carbon directly and of carbon stored on land;
  • The National Development Plan commits to funding a national afforestation programme after the expiry of the current Programme in 2020.

FOOD SECTOR INNOVATION

  • Food Wise 2025 commits us to increasing the value added sector by 70% to €13 billion by 2025. To that end the NDP will support two substantial initiatives to support in food innovation.
  • The National Food Innovation Hub at Teagasc’s Fermoy
  • The Prepared Consumer Food (PCF) Innovation Centre

THE SEAFOOD SECTOR

The Seafood sector, is another important part of our rural economy and in particular our coastal and Island communities. Specific initiatives under the NDP, include;

  • The State will provide approximately €100 million in capital funds towards Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme 2014-20.
  • Up to €180m will be invested up to 2022 in our six, State owned, Fishery Harbour Centres located at Howth, Dunmore East, Castletownbere, Dingle, Ros an Mhíl and Killybegs.
  • The NDP also provides support for the Haulbowline Island Remediation Project.

SUMMARY

  • The Government will continue to support the Agri-Food sector in a way that delivers enhanced economic, environmental and social sustainability, with particular focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation actions.
  • Our public investment will support an approach to carbon neutrality for agriculture and land use that does not compromise sustainable food production.