We must begin to fulfil Ireland’s enormous potential as a producer of high-quality food and drink, and provide more assistance to small farmers to keep their farms viable.
Labour in Government has led on the implementation of the CEDRA report and the establishment of the Rural Economic Development Zones.
Our plan for the next five years:
- Support smaller-scale producers to go after niche markets through innovative use of the Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) system
- Equip young farmers with better supports and agri-business management skills
- Extend the focus of the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme on young farmers with average net profit below €30,000
- Double the number of places on the Rural Social Scheme
- Introduce a new Graduate Development Programme for the food SME sector
- Increase supports for the establishment of farmer producer groups and federated cooperatives throughout the country
- Begin to pay annual premia to farmers who convert sections of their land to growing trees
- Fully fund the Seafood Development Programe and develop our Fisheries Harbour Centres in Cork, Galway and elsewhere