Kerry chief warns about impact of Teagasc cutbacks
Kerry Agri-Business has warned Teagasc that future financial support will depend on the delivery of a quality advisory service capable of meeting the future needs of farmers in the region.
Launching the Teagasc Strategic Plan 2015-2020 for the Kerry-Limerick Advisory Region, John O'Callaghan, head of Kerry Agri-Business, told the Teagasc officials, staff and farmers that while the partnership with Teagasc has delivered well in the past, the challenges for the future will be greater.
"We will not hang around if the partnership is not delivering - we don't believe in hanging around," Mr O'Callaghan said at the launch in Tralee.
"In our marriage it is very important that it continues to bring to farmers what it has brought the partnership up to now," he added.
In a veiled reference to the recent cuts in Teagasc funding, Mr O'Callaghan warned that skimming over the ground…would not be good enough for farmers in the Kerry catchment area and it would not be good enough for us [Kerry Co-Op]."
However, he assured Teagasc of the continued support of the Kerry Group, provided the "goods were being delivered."
Meanwhile, Teagasc board member, Professor Gerald Fitzgerald of UCC claimed staff cuts at the state advisory service were putting the achievement of the Food Harvest 2020 targets at risk.