REPS farmer fall-off cuts Teagasc income
A sharp fall in the number of REPS farmers knocked €4.1m off Teagasc's income from its advisory service last year.
Total returns from advisory fees fell from €15.47m in 2009 to €11.37m last year, which represented a reduction of 26pc.
A spokesman for Teagasc attributed the drop in advisory fees to the fall-off in membership of REPS, and also the reduced number of Teagasc advisors.
The figures are included in the Teagasc annual report for 2010, which was published yesterday.
The report showed that total expenditure at Teagasc fell by €14.3m to €186.79m last year. The bulk of the savings came from a 16pc cut in the wage bill.
However, despite staff numbers falling from 1,600 to 1,250 over the past three years, the wage and pension bill still accounts for 73.5pc of the agency's overall spend, or €140.6m.
The continuing deterioration in the public finances has been reflected in the level of Government funding for Teagasc. The total State subvention to the agency fell from €146m to €134.65m between 2009 and last year.