Ireland’s agri-food sector is at a crossroads, with climate change the biggest challenge facing the country, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said.

Speaking at the Food Vision 2030 agri-food event at Dublin Castle on Thursday morning, he said that Ireland will play a central role in the effort to reduce carbon emissions.

It is our oldest and largest indigenous sector, “we need to ensure its ongoing centrality in national life,” he said.

He said the sector is an essential and intricate part of society and, beyond direct employment, it plays an enormous role in the economy.

In recent years, there has been significant disruption to the sector in the form of Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine, he said, adding that fertiliser and animal feed supplies have been disrupted.


“The greatest challenge facing Ireland and the world is climate change,” An Taoiseach said.

The impact of climate change is manifesting across the planet, he said, stating that this summer alone saw “increased severity” of drought and floods.

“The nature of the climate challenge is unlike others we have faced. We have to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change, it is unavoidable,” he said.

An Taoiseach confirmed that “work is ongoing” on setting a carbon emissions reduction target for the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector.

It was the only sector which did not receive a target when Government announced targets for all other sectors of the economy earlier this year.

He said there are opportunities ahead for the sector, citing new technology and investment, and that the Irish agri-food sector will continue to produce world-class food.