Harris heralds bumper year for Irish agriculture
Posted January 11th, 2012 in Agriculture
97% of Single Farm Payments in Wicklow paid
Fine Gael Wicklow TD, Simon Harris, has said the Irish agri-food sector is well-positioned for another year of strong growth, following bumper export results for 2011. Deputy Harris also confirmed that over 97% of Single Farm Payments have been paid to farmers in Wicklow, with outstanding payments to be processed as quickly as possible.
“I have raised the need for the efficient and speedy processing of payments with the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney. Cash flow is a critical issues for farmers, and this has a knock-on effect for the wider community. I am pleased the Department is recognising the importance of these payments to farmers, particularly those on low incomes, and is making progress in this regard.”
“Administering the supports for farmers more effectively is all the more pertinent given the strong end of year figures shown by Bord Bia. Sales abroad grew by 12% in 2011, to almost €9 billion, with food and drinks exports reaching record levels.”
“The strong sales seen last year in the dairy, meat, prepared foods and seafood sectors show the potential and the variety of Irish offering. The Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney is working with food and drinks companies across Ireland to identify and exploit new opportunities, and to further develop existing markets.”
“December’s Budget contained a number of measures to help agri-businesses capitalise on export markets. Businesses looking to develop new markets in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) will receive support through the Foreign Earnings Deduction.”
Minister Coveney is also planning to visit China, for talks with his counterpart, with an view to expanding into the biggest emerging market in the world. A delegation from China visited Ireland recently and was particularly impressed with our grass-based production systems.
“It’s clear from last year’s strong performance the agri sector is on track to achieve further advances this year, despite the difficult international environment,” concluded Deputy Harris.