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Horticulture in Ireland

Industry Overview

The Irish horticultural industry is an important economic sector in Ireland; the sector encompasses vegetables, fruits, ornamentals, flower bulbs, trees, mushrooms and protected crops. Within these sub-sectors, Teagasc research and development support this modern, progressive and dynamic sector in meeting the challenges ahead and capitalising on the opportunities of the future.  This has culminated in a sector output valued at 350m farm gate. We work directly with all the sectors to advance their research agendas and meet the development needs as outlined in Food Wise 2025 and the Teagasc Statement of Strategy. 

Horticulture is a labour intensive sector.  In recent decades, there has been a consolidation in grower numbers across the certain sectors.  Horticultural sub-sectors are characterised by high levels of specialisation. The increased size of individual operations has led to highly professional production systems and some vertical integration in the supply chain. The data below shows that nearly all sectors are in a growth phase currently and the opportunities for development rest with increased technology adoption and innovation around labour efficiency, general input use efficiency and adoption of Integrated Crop Management (ICM) principles. 

Generally, horticulture producers face the challenge of the market place on a daily basis; there are no subsidies, so profit from productivity is paramount. In the face of increasing globalisation and competition, increasing consumer demands around sustainability and quality assured products, growers and producers are constantly striving to harness innovation to maintain competitiveness and have succeeded in supplying products which are of the highest quality, are nutritious, and are sustainably produced.