"Theme in the News"
Three topics concerning our topic of agriculture:
- Transformation of Agriculture--with a focus on a decline in farmers.
- Agriculture & Environment--with a focus on the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS).
- Politics--with a focus on: EU funding for Agriculture which ties into funding for the previously two mentioned topics.
- Ireland's land area is roughly 17 million acres, of which 12.32 million are used for agricultural purposes.
- Agriculture's impact on the economy is as follows: 7% of gross domestic product, 7.2% of total exports, and 10.3% of total employment.
Key Players / Agencies / Organization:
Transformation of Agriculture
Over the past few years there has been a decline in the number of people associated with agriculture. The percentages of the agricultural workforce in 1994 was 11.9% of the total workforce. In 1995 it was 11.5%, 1996 it was 10.6%, and in 1997 it was only 10% (about 134,000 people).
Agriculture and the Environment
Objectives of REPS:
- To establish farming practices and controlled production methods which reflect the need for environmental conservation and protection.
- To promote wildlife habits and endangered species of flora and fauna.
- To produce quality food in an extensive and environmentally friendly manner.
REPS Supplementary Measures:
- Conservation of Natural Heritage Areas
- Rearing animals of local breeds in danger of extinction
- Long Term Set Aside
- Public Access and Leisure Activities
- Organic Farming
One of the main issues concerning Ireland in respect to Agriculture/Politics/Economics is the Common Agricultural Policy.