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Forging agricultural links with Africa

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Forging agricultural links with Africa

In recent years there has been a drive in joint agricultural developments and agri-business investments between Africa, Ethiopia and Libya in particular, and Ireland; and knowledge transfer is key to this.
Speaking recently, the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney stressed Ireland’s agri-food sector has a key role to play in assisting Ethiopia and other African countries to reach their full potential in developing sustainable agriculture production.
During the Third Africa Ireland Economic Forum, held in Dublin last October, the minister met with his counterpart from Ethiopia, Tefera Derbew, to discuss current developments in the agri-food sectors in Ireland and Ethiopia.
At this meeting a joint Statement of Intent was signed, which encourages enhanced co-operation between Ireland and Ethiopia in the areas of agriculture, in particular continued co-operation in the areas of agricultural research and training.
Later that month Teagasc signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, which provides for further close collaboration between the two bodies.
Speaking at the National Potato Conference last week, Teagasc’s director Prof Gerry Boyle spoke on a key project, the Sustainable Seed Potato Production Project in Ethiopia.
“We are very proud to be involved in Teagasc along with a host of others partners,” he said. “We are working to export knowledge in the production of potatoes to developing countries and the project in Ethiopia is fascinating. When you see what knowledge can do, it’s a really important spectrum.”
In addition in 2012 in Irish Africa Agri-food Development Fund (AADF) was launched. According to the AADF, the fund aims to develop partnerships between the Irish Agri-Food Sector and African countries to support sustainable growth of the local food industry, build markets for local produce and support mutual trade between Ireland and Africa.

Source: Agriland.ie