A 29.3 per cent increase has been recorded in employment in agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors in Ireland this year. This is according to statistics released this week by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in its Quarterly National Household Survey.

The statistics show that agriculture, forestry and fishing recorded the largest increase in employment where more than 25,100 people join the sector’s workforce.

Speaking on radio this morning Irish Farmers Association (IFA) President John Bryan said the IFA has always stressed to the Government that farming was a steady burner.

“It’s not a big flash and they will be no sudden bust,” he cautioned.

“Any any bit of reasonable investment over a number of years can create employment. One of the things that are happing in Irish agriculture is there’s more added value or further processing whether that’s at the dairying or beef end across the board, which is creating jobs in further processing and it’s also creating a substantial number of jobs in the supply chain.

He continued: “There is the fact that since the economy has taken a downturn there has been a huge increase in the number of people going to agricultural colleges and looking at farming again. Young people coming home to start on farms.”

Asked whether the increase was due to farms getting bigger, he responded: “Certainly there has been an element of big getting a bit bigger. But there is also an awful lot in the middle that derive the bulk of their income from farming.”

Speaking to AgriLand, recruitment specialist Farm Relief Services’ Colin Donnery observed: “On the ground agri-business companies is where most of the increase is coming from. They are hiring in sales, back office, marketing. It has to be notated that agriculture figures tends swing more dramatically then any other sectors. So the figures have to be taken with some caution. Things are well up though. There has definitely been a lift. Weather its that high remains to be seen.”

He acknowledge that things were “very buoyant at the moment” for the Irish agriculture sector as a whole.

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