Teagasc joins national effort to tackle Covid-19 challenge

Teagasc has revealed that it “stands ready to contribute in any way possible and necessary” to authorities in the “huge national health challenge” that is Covid-19.

In a statement this evening, Wednesday, March 25, the agricultural advisory and extension agency said it has made this known to the relevant authorities through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

To date, Teagasc has been asked to assist by: providing staff who could assist with Covid-19 testing in a designated laboratory; and by providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to front-line medical staff.

The agricultural authority has compiled an inventory of” staff with relevant expertise who volunteered to work in testing labs”, adding that it is liaising with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the National Virus Reference Laboratory, University College Dublin (UCD), to assign staff to where they are needed the most.

The organisation is working with Dublin and Cork hospitals to facilitate the transfer of surplus PPE such as gloves, face masks and shoe covers to front-line staff.

“We have also offered Teagasc buildings in our agriculture colleges for use if necessary,” a Teagasc spokesperson added.

Teagasc has stressed, however, that it is continuing with its core business of research, advisory and education services to the agriculture and food industries, with the spokesperson adding:

Food is obviously a critical industry and it is imperative that we continue to support farmers and others as they produce and process food for our shops and tables during this difficult time.

“We are continuing priority research projects in our labs and farms with some scaling back and/or rescheduling of measurements.

“We have contingency plans in place across all our centres, colleges and advisory regions to ensure continuity of service as far as possible.

“We will continually monitor the situation and update and adapt our plans as the situation evolves,” the spokesperson concluded.