“It is an outstanding success and obviously, with the growth in income and export potential that is now being realised by the agri-sector, there is mood of confidence here.”
Mr Kenny said he recognised the difficulties and challenges that lie ahead both for Ireland’s MEPs and for the Government.
He listed some of these challenges as reform of the common agricultural policy, the abolition of milk quotas, and the Mercosur discussions on world trade that will take place over the next number of years. Mercosur is an economic agreement between Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina.
“The agri-sector is a very important and fundamental part of Ireland’s recovery pattern on export-led growth in the sector. So, from that point of view, it will remain a clear priority for our Government,” he said.
Alan Jagoe, the Macra na Feirme national president, congratulated the National Ploughing Association on 80 years of the festival and another excellent event.
“Everyone from stewards to gardaí did their upmost to make the event run efficiently,” he said, adding that Macra had a great time signing up new members, discussing young farmer issues and meeting politicians for pre-budget lobbying.
Kerry footballers Declan O’Sullivan and Killian Young met with the public at the National Dairy Council stand. They were the latest in a string of sports stars to take part in live discussions with council officials about diet and keeping fit.
Council chief executive Zoë Kavanagh said she was delighted with the level of interest and interaction from consumers, farmers and visitors to the stand.
She said: “There is a sense of optimism about the future, about the vital role that dairy will play as part of Ireland’s agri and food agenda, and about the positive contribution that dairy can make to our exports and economy.”