Africa highlighted as important market for dairy sector
An event called Winning Business in Africa: A strategic market for agri food was hosted by Ibec on Tuesday in their head offices in Dublin.
The event was held to highlight how Africa is an increasingly attractive market for Irish agri food companies seeking to diversify and insulate businesses from uncertainties presented by Brexit.
The programme is organised in conjunction with the Department of Foreign Affairs to help Irish companies compete for billions of euros worth of European development funds (EDF) earmarked for projects up to 2020. The programme is supported by funding experts Schuman Associates.
Ibec director Mark McAuley said: The European development fund projects offer a low-risk entry with pre-approved funding across key sectors including engineering, ICT and agriculture. As Ireland’s largest indigenous, sector with 230,000 linked jobs and 40% export growth since 2010, we see the agri food sector as leading the way in building Ireland’s trading relationship with Africa.
“As much as €3.4bn from the EDF has already been committed since 2014 on agriculture, food security and environment projects, but only 30% of this has been contracted, so there are huge opportunities for Irish companies to lead and partner on these projects.”
Dairy Industry Ireland director Conor Mulvihill said: “As we plan for the future, and particularly with Brexit in mind, market diversification will be key to maintaining strong exports growth.
The strength and expertise of the Irish agri food and dairy sectors means that there is great potential for boosting exports to Africa. Last year, dairy exports alone to Africa were worth €203m and we are optimistic about future growth potential.”