Cork, November 2017
Published on 08-01-2018 15:01:41 by AGRIFORVALOR
AgriForValor participated in the Agri-Tech Day 2017 Conference at the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, Cork on the 29th November 2017.
Farmers from across the Southern region gathered to hear speakers on emerging agri-tech opportunities and discuss the future needs for their industry in Ireland. Bioeconomy was one of the key topics covered during a packed event which also included sessions on Smart Working and Future Farming. Bioeconomy has emerged as a key issue in Ireland over the recent months, with the Government having just completed a consultation process in this area.
Image Source: Ludgate Hub
The Bioeconomy Session began with an introduction into the opportunities of the emerging bioeconomy with James Gaffey of Institute of Technology, Tralee and AgriForValor highlighting international examples of where agriculture has linked into the new bioeconomy, including Novamonts re-industrialisation of Sardinia’s chemical industry. James discussed models for integrating Irish agriculture into the future bioeconomy, through supply chains, co-operatives and small-scale approaches and gave an overview of the various types of high value products which could add value to Ireland’s biological resources. James finished by discussing specific project opportunities on which Irish farmers could become involved. James Browne, Innovation Engineer with Gas Networks Ireland then highlighted the opportunity that biomethane production offers the Irish Bioeconomy. James spoke of the role that biomethane could play in helping to decarbonize Ireland and highlighted a potential new market for grass and slurry, particularly in areas of Ireland where grass potential is not maximized. Finally, Tim Leahy, a Kerry farmer, outlined the significant barriers, regulatory and financial, that remain in place for farmers attempting to engage in the bioeconomy. Following the talks, a panel discussion was chaired by Maire McCarthy, Operations Manager with Capita which looked at policy mechanisms which could be used to promote the bioeconomy in Ireland including the renewable heat incentive, and a ban on single use plastic carrier bags in order to encourage the production of sustainably produced energy and products. The opportunities for cooperative structure to improve the opportunities and negotiating power of farmers in a future bioeconomy were also highlighted.
Image Source: IT Tralee