Farming is suffering while Teagasc is under resourced, the president of Macra na Feirme Seán Finan has claimed.
He is calling on Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to provide Teagasc with sufficient staff. He warned that young farmers will miss out on schemes that require them to have their Green Cert unless this is done.
He welcomed the approval of an additional 20 staff but highlighted Teagasc’s calculation that it requires more personnel to meet the unprecedented demand for agricultural education.
“Enrolments in Teagasc colleges have increased 154% from 600 in 2006 to 1,500 in 2014 while staff numbers have declined from 108 to 98 in the same period.
“Similarly the advisory services are now delivered to 45,000 clients by about 220 personnel which is down from 400 in 2007.
“Teagasc have determined that it needs a minimum of 230-240 advisers to meet client needs,” he said.
Mr Finan said Teagasc is providing a unique service by integrating research, education and advisory services.
“We are asking Minister Coveney directly to respond to Teagasc’s additional requirements,” he said.
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