Brexit poses a similar challenge for both Ireland and Scotland

Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Irish and Scottish farmers should work together to deal with the challenge of Brexit, a joint Teagasc and Scottish Rural College Conference (SRU) has heard.

Speaking at the conference in Edinburgh today, Director of Resreach at Teagasc Professor Frank O’Mara said “international research collaboration” is essential for rural areas to thrive and that the “existing strong links between SRUC and Teagasc can be further developed to deal with challenges”.

The conference heard that rural regions need to be innovative in order to share prosperity in an increasingly globalised economy and respond to societal challenges.

Organisers said it is hoped that the event will help build greater public awareness of the potential of rural areas and resources to deliver on a wide range of economic, social, and environmental challenges and opportunities benefitting all citizens of Ireland and Scotland.

Teagasc Director, Gerry Boyle added that rural areas need to start investing in new technologies and the bio-economy in order to create more jobs and be more competitive.

“It is important to highlight that new opportunities for rural areas will not be just confined to traditional sectors. New digital and other areas of science and technology will create opportunities for agri-food.

“They have a real contribution to make to the rural economy. Investing in growing these domains creates opportunities in many sectors, more highly skilled jobs, more competitive and sustainable rural economies, as well as openings into new markets,” he said.

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