The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., today launched his Department’s “Annual Review and Outlook for Agriculture, Food and the Marine 2020”.
Minister McConalogue stated, “Agri-Food is Ireland’s most important indigenous exporting sector, playing a vital role in the economy. 137,000 farms produce some €8 billion in output; and we have over 770,000 hectares of forest and over 2,000 fishing vessels & aquaculture sites. The agri-food supply chain stretches from rural and coastal areas all across Ireland to the UK, Europe and further to markets in the Americas, Asia and Africa. In 2019 Ireland’s food, drink and agri-foods products were exported to over 180 markets worldwide and valued at €14.5 billion, a 63% increase from €8.9 billion in 2010. The sector continues to evolve and respond to the needs of its customers, domestically and internationally.’’
The Annual Review and Outlook for Agriculture, Food and the Marine 2020 provides up-to-date information and statistical analysis from a variety of sources, to give a detailed overview of Ireland’s agri-food sector and its outlook for the future. This year’s publication includes chapters on Agri-Food Sector and the Economy; Farm Income and Structures; Agricultural Commodities and Inputs; Forestry; Fisheries & Aquaculture; Agri-Food sector trade; EU and International Policy; and the Environment and Rural Development.
Minister McConalogue concluded, “While the sector faces significant challenges, particularly this year with market disturbance arising form the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with ongoing uncertainty about the outcome of Brexit, it also has many opportunities to develop further and prosper. The focus for me and the Department in the year ahead is to continue to support the agri-food sector and facilitate its ongoing sustainable development.’’
A Committee of sector stakeholders has been working since late last year on a new agri-food strategy to 2030. Their terms of reference are to outline the vision and key objectives, with associated actions, required to ensure the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the agri-food sector in the decade ahead. The information and analysis included in this year’s Annual Review and Outlook will inform that “Agri-food 2030” process and assist in policy analysis and debate in the sector over the next year”.