TD Calls for Practical Outcomes from Department of Agriculture’s Research Budget
Independent TD for Laois-Offaly, Carol Nolan, has urged the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) to deliver tangible results from its share of the government’s research and development budget. This comes in response to an announcement made by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, stating that €963.7 million has been allocated for research and development across all government departments in 2022. Minister Harris also revealed that the final figure for 2023 is expected to exceed €1 billion, marking the first time the whole-government budget for this purpose will surpass that figure.
In 2022, DAFM received €96.6 million, which accounts for approximately 10% of the total budget, making it the third highest allocation among all departments. The top two departments in terms of funding were Minister Harris’ own department and the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Notably, DAFM received more funding than the Department of Health (€56.7 million, or 6%) and the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (€28.9 million, or 3%).
TD Carol Nolan welcomed Minister Harris’ announcement, expressing her satisfaction with the thriving state of research and development in the agriculture sector. She emphasized Ireland’s leading position in quality food production and farming methodology, stating that any initiative supporting the preservation and enhancement of excellence in this field should be embraced. Nolan also highlighted the €24 million funding announced by Minister for State (at DAFM) Martin Heydon in the previous year, which included research grants addressing issues such as ash dieback, forestry, and farmer mental health.
Nolan stressed the importance of practical and positive outcomes resulting from research and development efforts, particularly in the areas of agriculture, forestry, and farmer mental health. She asserted that these sectors require ongoing attention and support to achieve the necessary progress. However, Nolan cautioned against directing funding towards “pet projects” that offer little or no tangible benefits. She argued that research and development budgets should prioritize initiatives with substantial impact rather than personal preferences or niche endeavors.
In conclusion, TD Carol Nolan has called for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to deliver practical outcomes from its research and development budget. While acknowledging the positive state of research and development in the agriculture sector, she emphasized the need for tangible results in areas crucial to Ireland’s agricultural excellence. Nolan also cautioned against allocating funds to projects that lack substantial benefits, urging a focus on initiatives with practical and positive outcomes.