130 jobs are to be created by agricultural consultants around the country in the next 12 months.

Consultants umbrella body the Agricultural Consultants Association said 80 of the jobs will be in advisory positions and 50 in administration.

Recruitment has already begun.

Agriculture and environment graduates are among those being sought as agri consultants gear up to assist farmers with applications for grants and with compliance schemes in the new Common Agriculture Policy being introduced in January.

ACA President Noel Feeney said their members are delighted to be expanding at a critical time for farmers in the country.

"The creation of these roles means more farmers will be able to prepare for significant changes coming down the tracks, especially in regard to the Common Agricultural Policy.We are proud that the roles will be spread across the country and give a boost to regional communities throughout Ireland."

ACA members currently employ over 400 people in 168 offices.