Science and innovation will play a crucial role in the future of Ireland’s agri-food and bioeconomic sector, according to Martin Heydon, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Navy responsible for Research and of Development.
Highlighting the achievements in terms of research and innovation for 2021, the Minister mentioned the publication of the ten-year strategy for the agrifood sector “Food Vision 2030”.
He said one of the goals of the strategy is to develop an “innovative, competitive and resilient agribusiness sector” that is driven by both technology and talent.
“Our vision is for Ireland to become a global leader in innovation for sustainable food and agricultural systems,” he said, adding that science will be essential to achieve this.
Areas the research community worked on in 2021 included low input chemical nitrogen systems, protected urea, animal breeding and genetics, with a central focus being the use of the results of this research in terms practices by farmers and foresters and those who operate in the fishery.
“During the year 2021, I saw the implementation of these scientific innovations on farms across the country. Given that Ireland ranks second in the world for the quality of agricultural science research, I am confident that further scientific breakthroughs can be made that can build on this. “
Last year, the government announced funding of € 20 million for 24 research projects in areas such as climate and environment, sustainable animal and plant production, food safety and food innovation.
Of this amount, an investment of over 12 million euros has been allocated to 10 environmental and climate-themed projects.
Minister Heydon cited other awards under the EU’s Joint Programming Initiative and the US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership.
“Combined, this is a strong endorsement by this government of the importance of research and innovation. “
Referring to the Food Vision 2030 strategy, he said the ministry was working on initiatives, many of which will see “enhanced collaboration” between stakeholders in Ireland and with international partners.
“I look forward to making them a reality in 2022.”