CAP simplification is a priority over the next five years for the EU Agricultural and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan.

Speaking at the launch of the Teagasc National Agricultural Advisory Service Strategy 2015-2020, he said “it’s always going to be a rolling maul”.

He said that he accepts that CAP simplification is a complex policy and that in the last reform in the last reform 8,000 amendments were tabled.

However, he made a solemn commitment to do what he can.

Speaking at the event Commissioner Hogan also said Teagasc has a vital role to play in rural Ireland in the future.

“How can we produce more food from the resources we have? Farmers need knowledge and advice to achieve that increase in productivity.

There is a strong sense of connection between research and farmers here in Ireland through advisors. The value of an idea is in the using of that idea.

“We need to support the use of knowledge and innovation in agriculture and Teagasc has an enormous role to play in achieving that,” the Commissioner said.

The final report of a major EU funded project called Proakis was also presented at the event.

The report shows the diversity of Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems (AKIS) and advisory systems that exist in each of the 27 Member States (excluding Croatia).

Dr. Katrin Prager from the James Hutton Institute delivered a summary of the findings which identified Ireland as having a strong integrated AKIS in comparison to a number of other EU.

The report found that the main clients of advisory services in Ireland were commercial farms, young farmers and semi-subsistence and part-time farmers.

The main topics of advice were cross-compliance, agri-environment and livestock production, it found.