Minister Heydon outlines funding for Bord Bia, Teagasc and farm safety

Bord Bia has been allocated a total of €52.25 million in Budget 2021, a €4 million increase on its current allocation.

According to Minister of State with responsibility for new market development, farm safety and research and development Martin Heydon, the challenge of Brexit is a key factor in the allocation of additional funding.

The new funding will partly go towards digital and online approaches to market development, given the lack of physical trade missions due to Covid-19.

We must continue to invest in establishing a premium position for our food and beverages in all markets, across the world as well as in the UK and Europe.

“To that end the department is working with Bord Bia to lead a series of virtual trade missions with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand during November,” Minister Heydon pointed out.

He added: “We are only too aware that we cannot currently travel to meet potential buyers, but that extra allocation to Bord Bia will ensure that we can continue to focus on gaining new market access for our key exports, as well as enhancing and retaining access to existing international markets.”

In the video below, Minister Heydon outlines how this funding will be used, as well as funding that will be directed for farm safety measures.

Research

On the research and development side of things, Teagasc will see a €4 million boost in funding over and above its current allocation.

It brings to €147 million Teagasc’s total allocation in Budget 2021.

Apart from that, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has also been allocated an additional €3 million for competitive funding programmes.

If we are to continue to deliver efficiency and sustainability in the years ahead, innovation will be critical. This added investment, which brings our research funding to over €18 million, will allow us to future proof our industry and develop key solutions to meeting the ambitions of the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Biodiversity Strategy.

The combined funding allocation for research and innovation across the whole department stands at around €60 million, the minister highlighted.

Farm safety

On the third part of Minister Heydon’s brief, farm safety, he noted a “generous budget allocation” in that area.

“I want to put safety at the heart of our farms and I want farmers to be centrally involved in how we do that. That is why I intend to launch a call under the locally-led Innovation Partnership model specifically related to farm safety,” he said.

This will be supported by a €1 million allocation to support “locally-led” farm safety initiatives.

Another initiative will see some 50,000 farmers get access to farm safety training.

Measures relating to farm safety will also be covered in the €80 million funding for the roll-over of the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS), Minister Heydon noted.

These will include external agitation points for slurry, sliding doors and handling equipment.