The ability to develop technologies in the food chain will be crucial in delivering on the ambitious vision outlined in the Food Wise 2025 strategy.
That is the view of Eoin Lowry, president, Agricultural Science Association, the representative body for graduates working in the agri-food sector, which has pledged full support to the 10-year strategy.
Mr Lowry said the projections to increase agri-food exports by 85% to €19bn, primary production by 65% to €10bn and value-added products by 70% to €13bn by 2025 are formidable challenges and exciting opportunities.
“The strategy is being framed against a background of global food price volatility, exchange rate fluctuations, world climate- change policy, geopolitical instability, and a complex international trade regulatory environment,” he said.
Mr Lowry said that particular emphasis must be placed on promoting the agri-food sector as a career path which offers school leavers and university graduates exciting opportunities.
The sector needs to attract, retain, and develop talent capability through developing a structured career learning and development pathway that would facilitate progression from entry to senior leadership levels.
As the sector becomes more knowledge-intensive, education and skills development are even more critical for success. There must be an emphasis on upskilling and training ambitious people to drive future development.
Mr Lowry said the Food Wise 2025 strategy will be a key topic at the association’s annual conference on September 11 in the Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny.
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