THE Fingal Development Board has identified the struggling food and horticulture sector in Fingal as an area for growth and is looking at ways of supporting the industry.
The new focus on horticulture has grown out of a meeting of the board where Padraic McMahon, Dublin IFA county chairman made a presentation entitled: ‘The AgriEconomy Potential for Growth: Focus on Fingal’.
The presentation identified horticulture as the most important agriculture sector in Fingal with approximately 970 persons employed and an annual ‘farm gate’ value of € 81 million.
The horticulture sector in Fingal however faces very significant challenges including energy costs, labour costs, dominance of the retail sector, competition from imports and costs of production, according to the FDB.
A statement on the issue from the board, delivered to councillors at the March meeting of the full council, said: ‘In view of the importance of this industry to Fingal, the board met with a number of horticulture sector stakeholders to confirm the key challenges from their perspectives and to identify opportunities to address them.
‘The stakeholders included a number of growers, distributors, Teagasc and Bord Bia. ‘Further contacts are ongoing to determine how the Fingal Development Board can support this important sector of our economy in Fingal.’