Written Answers. - Import Substitution.

Dan Wallace


56 Mr. D. Wallace asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry his policy regarding import substitution in the food sector; and the main steps, if any, he is taking in this area to facilitate this process. [1848/96]

As Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry, I am concerned to ensure that, subject to climatic considerations and Ireland's obligations as a member of the European Union, our food requirements are met, as far as possible, from our own resources. For this reason the first ever national development strategy for the food industry, involving a total investment of £640 million in plant and equipment, research and development, marketing and promotion and training, which I launched last year is designed to enable our food companies to compete effectively on both home and export markets.