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2010 A Better Year for Farm Incomes

Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mr Brendan Smith, TD,  today welcomed the CSO's advance estimate of Output, Input and Income in Agriculture for 2010. The latest estimates show a 46% rise in operating surplus for the agriculture sector. The Minister said that "the increase in income was particularly strong in the cereals sector where improved prices resulted in an 88.8% rise in the output value of the sector to  €202m, the second highest annual figure in the last fifteen years". The dairy sector also enjoyed a better year, with output value up €427m or 38.8% on 2009. "This was based on an increase in production of 7.2% which represents a very positive first step towards achieving the ambitious targets set out in the Food Harvest 2020 report".

The livestock sector also showed strong increases in output value. The beef sector increased by 12.2% (€177.6m).  Pigmeat increased by 7.8% (€24m) while sheepmeat increased by 7.6% (€12.1m).   The Minister said that "these figures all point to a massive recovery following a very difficult 2009".

Total direct payments to the agriculture sector are expected to amount to circa €1,900 million, which includes payments under the Single Payment Scheme, the Area Based Disadvantaged Compensatory Allowance Scheme, REPS, forestry premia, disease compensation and other smaller schemes.

The Minister said that "the importance of the sector was also  recognised in  the recent budget and the latest figures demonstrate  the key role the agri-food sector will play in economic recovery.  The outlook for 2011 is undoubtedly positive, with renewed strength in the sector, combined with the positive measures announced in the Budget, leaving it well placed to increase its already crucial contribution to Ireland's economy and to show that the expansion envisaged in Food Harvest 2020 is very much attainable".

Date Released: 10 December 2010