Alltech president Dr Pearse Lyons has told AgriLand that Irish dairy and livestock farmers can look forward to a profitable future, given the growing demand for milk and beef in countries around the world.

Speaking on day one of the Alltech Gobal 500 event, taking place in the RDS, he went on to point out that farmers must strive to improve the health, fertility and performance of their stock.

“This is the only way to make profits,” he stressed. “Yes, demand for food will grow over the coming years. And this will, no doubt, lead to improved farmgate prices. But farmers must take control of their own futures and that means striving to improve efficiency levels within their confines of their own businesses. “By acting on these objectives farmers will also find that the goal of lessening the carbon footprint of their businesses becomes attainable.

Dr Lyons continued: “Opportunities abound for agriculture moving forward. But farmers must act within the lifetime of this opportunity.”

The Alltech president also indicated that farmers must not become complacent regarding the future prospects of their businesses. “Last year alone, 300 farmers in California went out of business due to cost pressures. This is a lesson that dairy and beef producers around the world must learn from.”

Dr Lyons also pointed out that the banks must commit to lend to the agri-sectors.“Farmers are the most entrepreneurial group of businessmen on this planet. They are also the greatest risk takers. And it’s incumbent on the banks to support the farming sector as whole.”

Pearse Lyons concluded: “Dairy and beef producers can look forward to an incredibly bright future.  But it is one that will be wholly determined by the implementation of new technologies and new ideas, all geared to ramp up on-farm efficiency levels.”

Pictured Alltech president Dr Pearse Lyons