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New Report suggests Ireland needs more innovation for farmers
June 16, 2014

A joint study by Bank of Ireland and UCD into innovation in the Irish agri-food sector has found that the farms in the Southeast were the most innovative, while those in the West were the least.

Research, jointly carried out by UCD and Bank of Ireland, has found that the dairy farming systems are most innovative farming enterprises in Ireland, while cattle systems are the least.

Using the Teagasc National Farm Income survey as a basis, researchers from the UCD School of Agriculture and Science created an index for measuring innovation at farm level.

On a regional breakdown, farms in the Southeast were found to be the most innovative, while farms in the West for least innovative.

One of the researchers involved in the project, Dr Doris Laepple, cited the high proportion of cattle systems in the West as a factor for the low innovation scoring.

Cattle farms in the Southeast were found to be more innovative than the national average, scoring 0.46 versus than the national average 0.32. Dairy farms there also scored above the national average, scoring 0.72 vs 0.62 (national average).

Dairy farms in the East were most the innovative in the country scoring 0.76 vs. 0.62 (national average).

The most innovative sheep farms were found in the Border region.


Factors which were found to have a positive factor on innovation were:

Dairy farm system (relative to other systems)

-farm size
-access to loan
-agricultural education

Factors which were found to have a negative factor on innovation were:

-Cattle and sheep farm systems (relative to Dairy)
-age of farmer
-off-farm job

Commenting on the finding, Dr Laepple said the research showed a need to examine how CAP payment can support and drive innovation, as farms where income was least dependent on subsidies, were the most innovative.

The research was present to an audience today (Wednesday 11 June) at the Driving Innovation in the Irish Agri-food system at the UCD Clinton Auditorium, Belfield, Dublin.

Source: Irish Farmers Journal


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