Teagasc has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, of €10 million in grant awards for collaborative research projects in the agri food area. The 23 research projects will be undertaken by 13 research institutions and Teagasc researchers will be involved in 16 of these projects. The research is funded under the FIRM, Stimulus, and programme of Competitive Forest Research for Development (COFORD) administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Director of research in Teagasc, Dr Frank O Mara said: “the research being undertaken in the projects funded is important for the future development of the agri-food industry, and particularly to help deliver the Food Harvest 2020 targets. We will use this funding to build expertise and capacity in important areas and deliver useful research to support innovation in the industry. Given the current economic situation, this funding is a vote of confidence in the industry and in our researchers.”
One of the largest awards is for a new national cheese research programme. The Teagasc food research team leading this programme will work closely with UCC, UCD, AFBI in Northern Ireland and University of Limerick in research to underpin the competitiveness of Irish cheese production. Given the increased volumes of milk expected after milk quotas end, this research is very timely.
The challenges facing Irish agriculture from gaseous emissions are being addressed collectively through research by Teagasc in collaboration with UCD, TCD, National University of Ireland Maynooth, UL and AFBI. A new national network of leading scientists from across these institutions, and led by Teagasc, is being established with funding from the Stimulus programme. This research will focus on mitigation strategies for methane and nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture.