Teagasc and Bord Bia were allocated combined funding of €205 million in Budget 2022 this week.

Teagasc’s share of the budget allocation – a mix of current and capital funds – amounts to €152.6 million, an increase of almost €6 million on last year’s budget.

Bord Bia’s funding, meanwhile, will amount to €53 million, a similar figure to last year.

At a press conference this week, Minister of State with responsibility for new market development; farm safety; and research and development, Martin Heydon, outlined the purpose of this funding for the two bodies.

Responding to a question from Agriland, the minister said: “If you look at the really important work Teagasc is doing at the moment, whether in terms of emissions from soils or livestock, or if you look at the current Nitrates Derogation and that whole process, that’s all based on science from Teagasc.

“With every case we make, particularly in Brussels, to have that independent peer reviewed science, backing up everything we do, gives us a huge advantage compared to other countries in terms of backing up our arguments and cases for what we’re doing,” he added.

Where Bord Bia is concerned, Minister Heydon highlighted the importance of increasing market access in the post-Brexit environment.

“Retaining the markets we have is absolutely critical and, in the post-Brexit era, to continue to diversify from our reliance on the UK market is massive.

“That’s where Bord Bia, with their 15 offices internationally and a team all around the world, working closely with our department officials and our agricultural attaches through our department embassy network, is doing really critical work in opening up those markets, maintaining the ones we have and allowing us to access new ones,” Minister Heydon argued.

Budget 2022 and the Carbon Tax fund

Speaking at the same press conference, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue clarified that the use of revenue generated from the Carbon Tax to fund a new agri-environment scheme will begin when the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) starts in 2023.

Minister McConalogue reiterated the commitment in the Programme for Government that €1.5 billion will be allocated to agriculture out of the Carbon Tax revenue.

He said: “In relation to the Carbon Tax, the Programme for Government is very clear, the government commitment is very clear, in ensuring that, between now and 2030, as the Carbon Tax is accrued and raised year-on-year, there will be €1.5 billion by 2030 allocated specifically to agriculture.

“[It will] specifically support and enhance the new environmental scheme which will replace GLAS [Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme] as part of the next CAP, which starts from January 2023.”

Minister McConalogue explained that the Carbon Tax funding for agriculture as been deferred until 2023 when there is a new agri-environment scheme established (under CAP) for the funding to be put towards.