Your country, your call: Put farming first -- it's a natural winner
Paolo Tullio on why we should milk our 'green' reputation
Until recently, Ireland was an agricultural economy; the national wealth was produced by its green pastures. There was never any heavy industry and we were spared the wilder excesses of the industrial revolution. Ireland made its living by exporting cattle, sheep and milk.
Despite the changes of the past few decades, where there's been a huge growth in the service sectors and in high-end technology, agriculture is still a major part of Ireland's revenue.
The great thing about agricultural wealth is that it's the ultimate renewable. Everything that comes from the earth, from fruits, to vegetables, to pasture for grazing animals, is powered by the sun. Agriculture is a real and tangible source of national wealth. It's not a finite resource like oil or coal; it will continue to produce wealth as long as the sun shines.