Smith unveils €1m grant to help improve cattle and sheep breeding

A €1 MILLION grant to support improvements in the breeding of cattle and sheep in 2010 was announced yesterday by Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister Brendan Smith.

A total of €800,000 of the grant will be paid this year to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) for beef and dairy cattle breeding, while the balance (€200,000) will go to Sheep Ireland for sheep breeding activities.

This funding is additional to the €1.5m announced earlier this year for ICBF and Sheep Ireland under the National Development Plan.

Mr Smith said the grant demonstrated the Government’s ongoing commitment to enhance the efficiency of the livestock sector.

He said the ICBF has an excellent track record in helping improve the profitability of the dairy and beef sectors through the application of scientific expertise and modern breeding techniques.

“Significant state funding to ICBF has helped provide a knowledge capacity within the cattle breeding sector which underpins future sustainable development of the livestock industry here,” he said.

Mr Smith said the funding for sheep breeding was for the provision of genetic evaluations, breeding programmes and the breeding database, which were key to a profitable sheep sector.

He urged sheep breeders to collaborate with Sheep Ireland by participating in its breeding programmes.

Mr Smith reiterated the importance of the livestock sector to the economy and the application of Smart technologies to the livestock-breeding sector.

“The export-oriented livestock sector is a critical component of the sustainable agri-food industry which contributes up to €8 billion to the Irish economy annually.

“ICBF and Sheep Ireland are representative of the livestock breeding sector and are uniquely positioned to apply the most modern scientific breeding expertise to ensure continued export-led growth and employment in the agri industry,” he said.


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