Teagasc and Irish Aid have signed an agreement to use agricultural research and training to help developing countries.
The agricultural research body already has a history of involvement in supporting agriculture in developing countries but signing a memorandum of understanding with Irish Aid puts it on a more formal footing.
Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development and Minister of State for Development Seán Sherlock said Ireland was a committed supporter of using agricultural development to lift people out of hunger and poverty.
“By teaming up with Teagasc, Irish Aid can harness their skills, research, and expertise, and share this knowledge with Ireland’s key partner countries through our development programme,” he said.
Speaking at the signing of the agreement in Fermoy, Co Cork,Teagasc's director Prof Gerry Boyle said this was a major step in ensuring that Teagasc's knowledge, expertise and commitment could have a more focused impact on addressing the challenge of food security.
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said Ireland had vast amount of experience and knowledge about developing and growing sustainable agri-food systems.
“This experience and expertise should be harnessed wherever possible to assist developing countries, especially least developed countries whose economies are heavily dependent on agriculture production, to grow their agriculture production systems in a sustainable manner.”
Teagasc is currently helping to develop a training and advisory programme in Tanzania, and is working with Vita, an Irish charity, in Ethiopia to develop sustainable seed potato production systems.