One of the UK’s closest pig-producing neighbours, Ireland, has launched a new Pig Research and Advisory Programme that wll be funded by a producer levy.
Run jointly by the state farm advisory service Teagasc and the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), the new programme will support Irish pig producers by providing advice, research and education across a range of issues of importance to the sector.
The head of Teagasc’s pig development department, Ciarán Carroll, welcomed the initiative, saying the programme would enable the organisation to provide a broader range of services to the sector.
“The levy will be used to fund two new advisers, two new researchers and a technician,” he said. “Teagasc and IFA have been working on this programme for a few years now, so it’s great to see it come to fruition.”
As part of the advisory service, producers will receive an annual visit to prepare and review an annual business plan for the farm. Other services will also be provided, which will include the annual pig conference, workshops, group meetings, research dissemination days, discussion groups, newsletters and registration of participants on the pig courses.
The IFA’s national pigs and Ppgmeat committee chairman, Pat O’Flaherty, said the Joint Programme was a good news story and a great boost for the Irish pig sector, particularly given the difficult times endured by Irish pig farmers in recent times.