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Strategic Pathways for the Teagasc Advisory Service

A Teagasc National Strategic Plan for Advisory - “Strategic Pathways for the Teagasc Advisory Service 2015 -2020” was officially launched by Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture, Botanic Gardens, Dublin, today, Monday, 22nd June.

Speaking at the event Commissioner Hogan, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development said: “Teagasc has a vital role to play in rural Ireland in the future. How can we produce more food from the resources we have? Farmers need knowledge and advice to achieve that increase in productivity. There is a strong sense of connection between research and farmers here in Ireland through advisers. The value of an idea is in the using of that idea. We need to support the use of knowledge and innovation in agriculture and Teagasc has an enormous role to play in achieving that.”

Teagasc director Professor Gerry Boyle said: “The advisory service is at a cross roads and we have come up with four strategic pathways to guide the development of the advisory service in the future. The advisory service is the bridge between research and farmers and is central to the agricultural knowledge innovation system (AKIS) which brings together advisory, research and education together in one integrated organisation.”

The four strategic pathways to guide the development of the advisory service are;

  • Striking a balance between an appropriately resourced public service and a private service.
  • Focus on driving sustainable on farm profitability through productivity
  • Increase front line adviser numbers to a minimum of 240 front line advisers.
  • Intensify the overhaul of the Teagasc advisory service delivery model.

Dermot McCarthy, Head of Teagasc Advisory Service, said: “Ireland needs a development focused advisory service to capitalise on the development potential of agriculture. The Regional Strategic Plans have identified actions Teagasc will take to ensure sustainable farm development takes place in a way that maximises the benefit to farmers in each region. We envisage further development of new and innovative advisory delivery models. A stable baseline number of 240 permanent advisory staff is required as a fundamental requirement to secure sustainable farm development and the attainment of Food Harvest 2020 targets.”

View the full “Strategic Pathways for the Teagasc Advisory Service 2015 -2020” document below.

Also at today’s event the final report of a major EU funded project called ProAKIS was presented. This project analysed the Agriculture Knowledge and Innovation (AKIS) System in each of the 27 member states and produced a comprehensive inventory of agricultural innovation support services. Dr. Katrin Prager from the James Hutton Institute delivered a summary of the findings which identified Ireland as having a strong integrated AKIS in comparison to a number of other EU.

Liam Woulfe with Dr Kathrin Prager, Senior Social Researcher UK; EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan and Prof. Gerry Boyle, Director Teagasc, at the launch of the Teagasc National Agriculture Advisory Service Strategy 2015-2020, which took place at the National College of Amenity Horticulture, Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin.

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