Some €2m has been provided for a new beef innovation network led by Teagasc involving nine EU member states, including Estonia, France, Ireland and Germany.
The network is called BovINE and aims to address the sector's sustainability challenges.
Farmers and stakeholders will be consulted on a number of areas, including:Socio-economic resilience. Animal health and welfare. Production efficiency. Meat quality. Environmental sustainability.
Concerns have previously been raised by many beef farmers across the country that not enough research was going into their sector.
Teagasc successfully tendered for the project and was awarded funding to develop the project, which will be shared with 17 other EU partners.
Head of department of agrifood business and spatial analysis of Teagasc and BovINE co-ordinator Prof Maeve Henchion said that the project took a “bottom-up approach” to identifying farmers’ needs.
She said that each year they would ask farmers to identify their most urgent needs.
“Any proposed solutions that have not yet been applied in practice will be subject to scrutiny in a demonstration farm context before being promoted for widespread adoption,” she said.
Irish Farmers Association director of livestock Kevin Kinsella said that the project would provide structure to enable and improve the beef sector.
“We are very pleased to partner with Teagasc and many European farm organisations and research colleagues through BovINE to help Irish and European beef farmers,” he said.
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