• The Evolution of a Collective Response to Rural Underdevelopment

      Heanue, Kevin; O'Donoghue, Kieran; O'Neill, Michael (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2011)
      The downturn in the Irish economy coupled with high levels of unemployment has focused attention on the need to promote economic development throughout the economy. This paper provides case study evidence on one successful approach to rural economic development by outlining the evolution, outcomes and key capabilities involved in a collective action response to the challenge of rural underdevelopment in North West Connemara. Reviewing a fifty year period, the case study shows that collective action in the region has not only been a series of events, but more crucially from a development perspective, it is embedded as an institution and a process. Therefore, as a result of learning by this community over a fifty year period, a collective action response has evolved as a key strategy to overcome government and market failure in relation to rural development. This case provides a good example to other communities of how locality can be drawn upon and used as an advantage in an increasingly globalised environment and how a local community can seek to ameliorate the negative aspects of globalisation by harnessing its local resources. In broad policy terms, the implication is that there are public good benefits to be gained from assisting and encouraging local communities through the provision of finance and capability building support, to deliver collective action responses to their particular challenges.
    • The role of extension and forest characteristics in understanding the management decisions of new forest owners in Ireland

      Upton, Vincent; Ryan, Mary; Heanue, Kevin; Ni Dhubhain, Aine (Elsevier, 2017-10-14)
      Many European countries have seen significant changes in forest ownership structure, with the emergence of a cohort commonly referred to as new forest owners, mainly within the non-industrial, private forest (NIPF) owner group. The drivers of this change differ between countries but these owners frequently lack an existing knowledge base to draw on regarding forest management decisions and practices and may possess different objectives to traditional owners. As a result there is uncertainty concerning the management intentions of these owners. The provision of extension services is a recognised approach to supporting decision-making by NIPF owners but there have been relatively few studies that have sought to quantify the effectiveness of such initiatives in terms of management outcomes. In addition to measuring the outcome of extension initiatives, exploring the positive or negative outcomes can assist with the design of future initiatives. Ensuring that such initiatives are designed for appropriate phases in the forest life-cycle is important. This paper reports the results from a number of surveys that sought to explore the impact of an extension initiative, a thinning demonstration, on actual management outcomes and what characteristics of owners and their forests might explain observed management decisions. A retrospective pre-post test questionnaire was used at the demonstration to capture knowledge impacts and management intentions. A follow up survey was conducted 18 months later to investigate what, if any, practices had been undertaken. Data from a national household survey of land owners were also analysed to investigate whether the observations from the demonstration had significance for the wider population. The results suggest that the demonstration was successful in imparting knowledge to forest owners both in terms of self-reported learning and actual management outcomes. However, from an Irish perspective management decisions are dominated by forest age as the majority of the private estate is still in its first rotation. This presents a challenge to extension service personnel and to research seeking to explain management practices at a national level.
    • The Rural Development Programme (2007-2013) and Farmer Innovation: A Review to Date and Look to the Future

      Heanue, Kevin; Macken-Walsh, Aine (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2010)
      This paper seeks to comment on farmer innovation in relation to the measures within the Rural Development Programme (2007-2013). Evidence is presented on the general extent of innovation among farmers and the specific uptake of measures within Axes 1, 2 and 3 of the RDP. Changes to, and curtailment of, measures within the various Axes since the inception of the RDP until April 2010 are identified. Following a discussion of some of the internal and external factors that promote or hinder farmer innovation and participation with the Axes, suggestions are made about how to increase farmer engagement with the RDP. It is concluded that for the remainder of the RDP, certain bureaucratic barriers, governance issues, resource issues, training needs, and research gaps must be addressed if farm households are to innovate to the extent that they are expected to as a result of the RDP
    • Teagasc submission made in response to the Discussion document for the preparation of a National Policy Statement on the Bioeconomy

      Henchion, Maeve; Devaney, Laura; Caslin, Barry; Fenton, Owen; Fenelon, Mark; Finn, Sean; Finnan, John; Ní Fhlatharta, Nuala; Gaffney, Michael; Hayes, Maria; et al. (Teagasc, 2017-09-19)
      This document is Teagasc’s response to the “Discussion Document for the Preparation of a National Policy Statement on the Bioeconomy” issued by the Department of the Taoiseach’s Economic Division in July 2017. It recognises the potential significance of the bioeconomy to Ireland, offers some policy and strategic insights from other countries, and identifies Teagasc’s role in supporting the development of the bioeconomy in Ireland.