Minster of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) with responsibility for research and development, Martin Heydon has said that identifying and highlighting developments in research that will contribute to sustainability is a priority for him.

Minister Heydon has begun a series of visits to a number of agri-food, forestry and marine research facilities throughout Ireland, where he will meet with researchers for updates on projects funded by the DAFM.

The minister will hear about the scientific progress being made and will also highlight how findings from the research can help to inform policy and decision-making across government and the wider industry.

Updates on how this progress could contribute to increased environmental, economical and social sustainability will be eagerly welcomed he said.

The minister added:

“The Food Vision 2030 strategy sets out a vision of making Ireland a world leader in sustainable food systems and one of its four missions is dedicated to research, innovation, technology and human capital. I want to ensure that the research my department funds is adequately contributing to this mission.”

The minister said he believes that investing in research is critical to overcoming the challenges the sector is facing at the moment, and those it will face in the coming decade.

“I believe investing in public-good research will be a critical enabler to the sector in exploiting opportunities and addressing challenges.”

Beginning at the Marine Institute in Oranmore, Co. Galway Minister Heydon then went on to visit the Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre in Galway.

Whilst there, he met with researchers and students who are currently examining new approaches to increasing the productivity, sustainability and competitiveness of Irish sheep production systems.

Heydon has also met with Dr. Niall Farrelly, who was awarded €2.2 million in funding from the DAFM to investigate adaptation, mitigation and protection strategies to increase resilience of Irish forests.

Minister Heydon is due to continue his tour with a visit to University College Cork (UCC), for a briefing on a range of its ongoing food safety and food waste research projects.