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Agrifood Sector

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 25 October 2017

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Ceisteanna (227, 232)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

227. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the programme for Government commitment to support the creation of a further 23,000 jobs in the agrifood sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45133/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

232. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding the programme for Government commitment to increase the value of exports by 85% to €19 billion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45224/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 227 and 232 together.

The agri-food commitments in the Programme for a Partnership Government align closely with Food Wise 2025, the ten year strategy for the agri-food sector, published in 2015. Food Wise 2025 identifies the opportunities and challenges facing the sector and provides an enabling strategy that will allow the sector to grow and prosper. Food Wise includes more than 400 specific recommendations, spread across the cross-cutting themes of sustainability, innovation, human capital, market development and competitiveness; as well as specific sectorial recommendations.

If these recommendations are implemented, the expert committee which drew up Food Wise 2025 believed that the following growth projections are achievable by 2025: increasing the value of agri-food exports by 85% to €19 billion; increasing value added in the sector by 70% to in excess of €13 billion; and increasing the value of primary production by 65% to almost €10 billion. With regard to employment, Food Wise foresees the creation of 23,000 additional direct and indirect jobs in the agri-food sector. Realising these growth projections will be challenging, but I am confident that they can be achieved.

In July this year, I launched the second annual progress report of Food Wise 2025: Steps to Success 2017. Food Wise Steps to Success showed that, of the 368 detailed actions which were due to commence by 2017 or are on-going actions, 46% have been achieved or substantial action has been undertaken, and a further 49% have commenced and are progressing well. This shows good progress but I will press on in getting as many actions as possible complete within the next year.

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