Ireland has 5th most innovative agri-food sector in EU, study finds

Research suggests most innovative farmers tendedd to have higher farm incomes

Children from St Michaels junior school at the launch of an agri-aware education initiative in Dublin

Children from St Michaels junior school at the launch of an agri-aware education initiative in Dublin

Wed, Jun 11, 2014, 18:16

Ireland has the 5th most innovative agri-food sector in the EU behind Denmark, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands, according to a new report.

The Innovation in the Irish Agrifood Sector report, published today, also found the most innovative farmers in Ireland tended to have higher farm incomes, be less dependent on subsidies, invest more, have larger farms and be younger in age.

The study also identified several barriers to innovation including the structure of farm businesses and a lack of land mobility.

It was compiled by researchers from University College Dublin on the basis of interviews with stakeholders from across the sector, and an analysis of data from Eurostat, the OECD, and the Teagasc National Farm Survey.

“It is very encouraging to see that Ireland ranks fifth in terms of innovation in the agrifood sector in the EU, according to this comprehensive report compiled by University College Dublin” Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food, Simon Coveney said at the launch of the report at a conference in UCD.

“But the real value of this report is that it has identified several key areas where barriers to innovation in the sector exist. Barriers we can work to target and gradually lift in order to further support the sector towards becoming more innovative,” he said.