Teagasc published their Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2018 last week, which showed an increase in income of €8 – €195 million in 2018 (compared to €187 million in 2017) – excluding the Net Deferred Funding for Pensions.
There was an increase of €6.432 million in grant aid compared to 2017. Research income increased by €1.924 million (6.3%), including increases of €1.835 million in externally funded research grants, €481,000 in analysis fees and €523,000 in other research income and a reduction of €988,000 in livestock trading income.
Knowledge Transfer income fell by €3.251 million (12.7%), with a drop of €1.639 million in advisory services income and €1.646 million in course fee/student fee income. P
roceeds of €488,000 were secured in 2018 for sales of assets and there was additional one off capital funding of €1.935 million for the development of Johnstown Castle and for the purchase of a parcel of farm land.
Tackling Climate Change
Speaking at the publication of the Teagasc Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2018, Chairman of the Teagasc Authority, Liam Herlihy said: “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing us all. In 2018, Teagasc produced a major report titled ‘Analysis of Abatement Potential of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Irish Agriculture 2021-2030’, which identified measures that can be adopted by farmers to reduce the emissions from farming.
“Many of these measures have subsequently been included in the Government Action Plan on climate change which was published earlier this year. Teagasc are intensifying its Knowledge Transfer activities with farmers to improve the adoption of these measures, so agriculture is playing its part in addressing the challenge of reducing GHG emissions.”
The Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme (ASSAP), which was launched in November 2018, are aimed at maintaining and improving water quality. The programme led by Teagasc is delivering a free, one-to-one, sustainability advisory service to more than 5,000 farmers to encourage behavioural change, facilitate knowledge transfer and achieve better on-farm environmental outcomes.
Of the 30 new Agricultural Sustainability Advisors working with farmers to improve water quality, 20 are located in Teagasc while 10 are operating within the dairy processors’ organisational structures.
Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle said: “2018 was a difficult year for the farming sector due to weather related difficulties in the winter, spring and summer. The uncertainty created by Brexit has already impacted on the agriculture sector through a weakening of the Sterling exchange rate with the Euro.
“Further Brexit related challenges face the sector. Teagasc has made a number of important investments to help the agriculture and food industry prepare for, and adapt to, the challenges ahead.”
In 2018 the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, through Teagasc, invested €6.5 million in the ‘National Prepared Consumer Foods Centre’ at the Teagasc Food Research Centre in Ashtown, Dublin. The investment was in equipment and infrastructure to develop a shared research capability in order to address the low levels of Research and development in the Prepared Consumer Foods Sector.
In 2018 over €2.1 million was invested in horticulture facilities at Teagasc Ashtown, including a modern glasshouse equipped with advanced systems for research, a turf grass academy, a Horticultural Utility Building, a large multi-span ‘forestry polytunnel’ and additional polytunnels.
A Mushroom Research Unit which has 100m2 of growing area to support a dedicated mushroom research programme was also established. These new facilities underline Teagasc’s commitment to the horticulture sector.
The VistaMilk SFI Research Centre was set up in 2018. It’s a collaboration between Agri-Food and Information & Communications Technology (ICT) research institutes and leading Irish/multinational food and ICT companies. It is co-funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).
The Centre, under the directorship of Professor Donagh Berry is hosted by Teagasc, in partnership with the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF), the Tyndall National Institute, UCC, Ireland’s National Microelectronics Institute, the Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) at Waterford Institute of Technology, NUIG, DCU and the Insight Centre for Data Analytics (UCD). Multinational and SME companies in the food and ICT sectors are also part of the consortium.
Research and Knowledge Transfer
The national network of 240 Teagasc advisors served almost 43,000 farmer clients in 2018. There were 18,507 Teagasc Profit Monitors completed in total during 2018. It was a particularly successful year in terms of research funding, with Teagasc securing €6.3 million in new EU funding from Horizon 2020, through a competitive process.
It is important for Teagasc to collaborate with researchers and knowledge transfer professionals across Europe and EU funding facilitates that. Teagasc has reached its target of €19 million from Horizon 2020 with two years still remaining.
A copy of the Teagasc Annual Report and Financial Statement for 2018 is available on https://www.teagasc.ie/publications/2019/teagasc-annual-report-2018.php