Ireland could grow dairy herd to 4m
Published 11/01/2011 | 05:00
Ireland has the potential to quadruple its dairy herd to a massive four million cows, according to well-known Cork-based dairy farmer Michael Murphy.
This has the potential to create 45,000 jobs over the next 25 years, according to Mr Murphy, who is also involved in dairy operations in the US, Chile and New Zealand.
"There is no other country in the world that has the same expansion prospects as Ireland," he said.
"Exports of dairy products will also boom by 400pc as every extra gallon and tonne of dairy product will be exported onto a world market where consumption of dairy products is growing at 2.5pc per annum.
"Grass-based milk production may be the only area Ireland has a real, sustainable, competitive, international advantage."
Mr Murphy believes dairying can do the same for rural Ireland that it did for the South Island of New Zealand 20 years ago. He says profits from expanding dairy farms would have a huge economic and jobs multiplier effect for Ireland.
He will be part of the panel of speakers that will be addressing the annual Positive Farmers Conference next week in both Cork and Meath.
This year, it focuses on what expansion-minded farmers need to be doing to profitably produce more milk at low risk.