The AgriFood Business Partners' meeting of banks, processors and farmers is taking place in Dublin today. They are all here to talk about a medium term approach to sustainable investment in the Irish agrifood sector up to 2020, including the opportunities, challenges and developments. One of the main areas of focus is the dairy sector, which is gearing up for massive growth when milk quotas are abolished next year.
AgriFood Business Partners' Cathal Fitzgerald says that the meeting is taking place against the backdrop of the Government's 2020 plan which is targeting substantial growth in the sector. 50% growth is predicted for the dairy sector, with strong growth also seen in the beef and sheepmeat sectors. A key issue affecting farmers is the availability of credit, Mr Fitzgerald says, while farmers also have to invest their money in sustainable farming methods. But he adds that the global fundamentals for farming are positive.
Farmer Michael Doran is in the process of converting his farm to dairy and he says he made the decision to make such a move due to the abolition of the milk quotas. He says that dairy farming has always offered the best security to farmers. Mr Doran also said that he needed a good bit of investment to build a new milking parlour, but he is confident that when the milk quotas are gone, he will see a return on his investment. He says he also hopes to generate more employment on his farm as he focuses on his dairy herd.
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