• POLICY options

      Dunne, William; O'Connell, John J.; Shanahan, Ultan (Teagasc, 01/09/2009)
      The incomes of Irish cattle farmers benefited greatly from the reform of the CAP for beef and cereals in 1992 and more recently under Agenda 2000. In both of these reforms the institutional support prices were reduced and animal-based direct payments (DPs) were used to compensate farmers for the anticipated market price reductions.
    • The potential role of environmental economics in Teagasc - A scoping excercise

      Hynes, Stephen (Teagasc, 2006-12-01)
      Environmental economics is a new area within the Teagasc vision programme. It is a distinct branch of economics that acknowledges the value of both the environment and economic activity and makes choices based on those values. The goal is to balance the economic activity and the environmental impacts by taking into account all the costs and benefits. The theories are designed to take into account pollution and natural resource depletion, which the current model of market systems fails to do. This (failure) needs to be addressed by correcting prices so they take into account "external" costs. The aim of this project was to look broadly at theses issues in relation to agriculture and natural resource usage in Ireland. In particular it focused on the role that this branch of economics may play in the research agenda of Teagasc in the future. The project was very short in duration (7 months) and was completed on-time (30th November 2006). The main objectives of this project were: (i) the production of a document outlining what environmental economics involves and the potential role of environmental economics within Teagasc (ii) the organisation of a meeting with leading environmental economists and representatives from environmental institutions in Ireland such as the EPA, SEI, MI and the DoE in order to discuss the potential role of Teagasc within the environmental economic research community in Ireland. Ultimately, this short project was designed to give line management and fellow staff members an overview of what is meant by the term Environmental Economics and what type of research agenda may develop within Teagasc under this heading. It was also intended that fellow staff members would have a chance to suggest and participate in new environmental economic projects in the future.
    • Presentations from the All Island Farm Safety Conference

      Gracey, Kenny; Meredith, David; McNamara, John G.; Dalton, Marie; Murray, Finian; Earley, Bernadette; Prendiville, Daniel J.; Mazurek, Mickael; Kennedy, Michael; Downey, Malcolm; et al. (Teagasc, 2008-06-18)
      An All Island Farm Safety Conference took place on Wednesday, 18 June 2008 at the Hillgrove Hotel, Old Armagh Road, Monaghan. The presentations from this conference will be of interest to farmers, agricultural contractors, and anyone with an interest in safety and health in agriculture. Each of the talk titles below is a link to the Microsoft PowerPoint presentation in PDF format
    • Projecting population and labour market trends in rural areas.

      Wiemers, Emily; Commins, Patrick; Pitts, Eamonn; Ballas, Dimitris; Clarke, Graham (Teagasc, 2002-12-01)
      This purpose of this project is to develop a spatial model to project population and labour market variables at the small area level in Ireland. The model is called SMILE (Simulation Model for the Irish Local Economy) and is a static and dynamic spatial microsimulation model. Microsimulation attempts to describe economic and social events by modelling the behaviour of individual agents such as persons or firms. Microsimulation models have proved useful in evaluating the impact of policy changes at the micro level. Spatial microsimulation models contain information on geographic units and allow for a regional or local approach to policy analysis. SMILE is based on modelling work on urban systems and employs similar techniques for analysing rural areas. The static model creates a spatially referenced synthetic population of Ireland. Each individual enumerated in the 1991 Census of Population is synthetically constructed and is assigned 11 census characteristics including a District Electoral Division (DED) location. The dynamic element incorporated in SMILE ages the synthetic population by modelling demographic processes including fertility, mortality and internal migration. The dynamic process is used to project population in the medium term; it ages the synthetic 1991 population to 1996. For validation purposes, these 1996 projections are then compared to the 1996 Census of Population. The same process was used to project between the 1996 and the 2002 Census of Population. The results indicate that the accuracy at DED and county level is within acceptable limits. The model will be extended in the next three years, beginning in 2003, with additions including validating individual attributes such as employment status and social class and also including households in the model. This project has created a basic model that can be expanded and developed in the future.
    • Projections of Agricultural Incomes.

      McQuinn, Kieran (Teagasc, 2001-06-01)
      This report documents work completed on the inputs and income component of the FAPRI-Ireland model, which has been operational for policy analysis since December 1998. The report will present the results of three major different policies analysed over this period. The model itself is decomposed into two primary constituents – the first is a model of aggregate Irish input consumption by agricultural producers and secondly the overall aggregate income figure for Irish agriculture. Output models have been constructed for dairy, livestock products and crops. The aim of the income model is to replicate line for line the Central Statistics Office (CSO) Agricultural Output, Input and Income table for a “baseline” result and for different policy scenarios.
    • Projections of Agricultural Land Use and the Consequent Environmental Implications

      Behan, Jasmina; McQuinn, Kieran (Teagasc, 2002-12-01)
      The research conducted under the project no. 4822 resulted in an extension of the FAPRI-Ireland econometric model of Irish agriculture, established by Rural Economy Research Centre, to include an environmental dimension. The original model was first extended by a forestry component. As a result, the standard output is now enhanced with the additional projections of agricultural land area allocated to forestry. In the next stage the model was developed to enable the conversion of standard agricultural and forestry output into environmental indicators associated with global warming. Therefore, the model currently provides projections of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration from Irish agriculture and forestry. The general objective is to generate projections of net greenhouse gas emissions from Irish agriculture. In order to achieve this objective we extend the existing model to generate projections of: 1. farmers’ uptake of forestry on farmland 2. carbon sequestration from on-farm forests 3. greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural activities.The forestry component was added to the existing FAPRI-Ireland modelling system. An econometric technique is used to model farmers’ forestry planting decision. The greenhouse gas emissions are calculated following the guidelines provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which have been adjusted for Irish specific conditions. Carbon sequestration levels are generated by applying a methodology developed by COFORD, Ireland. The projections were generated under two policy scenarios. First, it was assumed that there would be no change in agricultural or forestry policy over the projection period. Second, the assumption was made that policy measures are introduced to encourage further extensification of agricultural practices. If there was no policy change, the results suggest that afforestation on farmland would exceed 10,000 ha per annum; However the uptake would not, at any point, reach the level of planting recorded in 2001. As forests planted on farmland mature, carbon sequestration levels are projected to continuously increase in the coming years. On the other hand, greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are expected to decline as a result of the projected contraction in the national cattle herd and sheep flock. If policy was reformed to include further extensification of livestock production, it is expected that less agricultural land would be allocated to forestry. The reduction in planting, however, would not be sufficient to significantly affect the carbon uptake levels projected under the no policy change scenario. However, further extensification would lead to further contraction in livestock numbers, which would result in more pronounced reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
    • The Promotion and Marketing of Qulaity Products from Disadvantaged Rual Areas.

      McDonagh, Perpetua; Commins, Patrick (Teagasc, 2000-11-01)
      The present study was part of a project co-funded under the EU’s Fifth Framework Programme. The project was concerned with 12 ‘lagging rural regions’ in six countries of the EU and, specifically, with the strategies, structure and policies used to support the successful marketing and promotion of quality products and services in these regions. Its aims were: – to identify current marketing strategies and promotional activities among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with special reference to the use of regional imagery in marketing quality products and services; – to explore consumer perceptions in relation to the purchase of quality products and services from specific lagging regions; – to identify the strategies and practices of the main institutional structures (e.g., local authorities, development agencies, marketing organisations) in supporting the marketing of quality products and services; – to bring forward ideas for the future development of regional quality products and services.
    • Quantification of risks associated with plant disease: the case of Karnal bunt of wheat.

      Thorne, Fiona; Brennan, J.; Kelly, P.W.; Kinsella, Anne (Teagasc, 2004-12-01)
      The aim of this study was to assess the economic impact of Tilletia indica, the cause of Karnal bunt of wheat (and triticale) in the EU. The methodologies used are relevant to estimating the costs of controlling other plant and animal diseases. The work was carried out as part of an EU funded research project.
    • A quantitative risk assessment of E.coli 0157:H7 in Irish minced beef

      Duffy, Geraldine; O'Brien, Stephen; Carney, Eimear; Butler, Francis; Cummins, Enda; Nally, Padraig; Mahon, Denise; Henchion, Maeve; Cowan, Cathal (Teagasc, 2005-02)
      A national quantitative risk assessment was undertaken for minced beef in the Republic of Ireland. The objective was to estimate the probability of E. coli O157:H7 infection from consumption of Irish beef and to investigate the parts of the beef chain contributing most to the risk posed by this pathogen.The quantitative risk assessment was broken into 3 main modules: 1) production of boxed beef trimmings; 2) processing of trimmings and burger formation and 3) retail/domestic consumption phase. Key points in each module (beef hide, beef trimmings and beef products at retail) were validated using data derived from microbiology sampling at beef abattoirs, supermarkets and butchers’ shops in Ireland.
    • Recreational demand modelling for agricultural resources

      Hynes, Stephen (Teagasc, 2007-07-31)
      In the last decade the demand for rural recreation has increased in Ireland as the population has become increasingly urbanised. Increased affluence, mobility and changing values have also brought new demands with respect to landscape, conservation, heritage and recreation, with a greater emphasis on consumption demands for goods and services in rural areas. This project’s contribution to the understanding of outdoor recreational pursuits in Ireland is based on the estimation of the first recreation demand functions for farm commonage walking, small-scale forestry recreation and whitewater kayaking. These are all popular activities that take place in Irish rural space. We use this empirical work to investigate the more general conflict between countryside recreational pursuits and farming activity. Through the estimation of travel cost models, the study derives the mean willingness to pay of the average outdoors enthusiast using small-scale forestry sites in Co. Galway, using farm commonage in Connemara and using the Roughty river for kayaking recreation in Co. Kerry. An estimate of the gross economic value of the sites as recreational resources was also derived. The results indicate the high value of Irish farmland (and the Irish rural countryside in general) from a recreational amenity perspective. The project lasted approximately 2 years and was completed on-time (31st July 2007).
    • Regional images and the promotion of quality food products

      McIntyre, Bridin; Henchion, Maeve; Pitts, Eamonn; European Commission; CT96 1827, (Teagasc, 2001-02)
      This research was undertaken as part of the RIPPLE (Regional images and the promotion of quality products and services in the lagging regions of the European Union) project, funded within the FAIR Programme (1994-1999). The project objective was to assist public and private institutions develop strategies, policies and structures to aid the successful marketing of quality products in the lagging regions of the EU. The project also sought to provide consumer perspectives on the issue of regional quality products using survey research.
    • Risk Analysis and Stochastic Modelling of Agriculture

      Thorne, Fiona; Hennessy, Thia (Teagasc, 2007-01-01)
      This project analysed the role of risk in farmers’ production decisions and the impact of policy changes on risk in agricultural production. · A stochastic budgetary farm level model was developed using Irish National Farm Survey data and FAPRI-Ireland projections. · The model was used to examine the varying level of farmers’ exposure to risk under different policy regimes. · Results showed that under the Mac Sharry and Agenda 2000 regimes of agricultural policy the major incentive for profit maximising farmers to engage in production was to qualify for direct income support. Direct payments were relatively risk free sources of income and therefore risk played only a minor role in the production decision. The results showed that farmers would be exposed to more risk under decoupling. The return to production post decoupling is market based only, as the direct payment is no longer linked to production, and therefore is more exposed to price and production risk. · The stochastic budgetary model, which accounts for price and production risk, was used to estimate the economic trade off between “entitlement farming”, that is retaining farm land only to claim payments and not produce any tangible products, and conventional farming. · The results showed that for less efficient farms, the probability of achieving a significantly higher profit by engaging in entitlement farming is 46 percent, while further analysis shows that there is a 9 percent probability that profits from conventional farming systems would be only marginally higher than the ‘entitlement farming’ option.
    • Second generation GM foods: perspectives on likely future acceptance by Irish consumers

      O'Connor, Elaine; Cowan, Cathal; Williams, Gwilym; O'Connell, John J.; Boland, Maurice; Downey, Gerard; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; Safefood; Safefood (Teagasc, 2005-07)
      Two hypothetical second-generation genetically-modified (GM) products, a yogurt and a dairy spread, were evaluated by consumers. Second-generation GM food products offer specific consumer benefits - in the case of this study, health benefits.
    • Second Generation GM Foods: Perspectives on Likely Future Acceptance by Irish Consumers

      O'Connor, Elaine; Cowan, Cathal; Williams, Gwilym; O'Connell, John J.; Boland, Maurice; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 01/07/2005)
      Two hypothetical second-generation genetically-modified (GM) products, a yogurt and a dairy spread, were evaluated by consumers. Second-generation GM food products offer specific consumer benefits - in the case of this study, health benefits.
    • The Socio-economic Sustainability of Rural Areas in Ireland

      Leavy, Anthony (Teagasc, 2001-04-01)
      Over the period 1971 to 1996 District Electoral Divisions (DEDs) with the highest rate of decline in population and employment tended to be most widespread in western and north-western counties.In these DEDs average population declined by 19 per cent and average employment by 24 per cent. • Average population increased by 65 per cent and employment increased by 77 per cent in DEDs close to large urban centres.Ap proximately 90 per cent of the increase in both population and employment occurred in these areas. • Leitrim (73 per cent) and Cavan (67 per cent) had the highest proportion of District Electoral Divisions (DEDs) that lost both population and employment in the 1971-1996 period.The counties of Kildare (7 per cent) and Wexford (11 per cent) had the lowest proportion of DEDs losing both population and employment. • Approximately half of DEDs in the Objective 1 region (west, midlands and border region) lost both population and employment in the 1971-96 period. • In the most recent five year inter-census period (1991-96), while population declined in 60 per cent of DEDs, only 20 per cent of DEDs lost employment. However, 100 per cent of population growth and 90 per cent of employment growth occurred in peri-urban areas in the 1991-96 period. • Areas with the most serious history of decline were classified into: (a) Farm Dependent situated in all areas of the country but remote from urban areas, (b) Low Density populated areas situated mainly in inland areas of the west and north-west, and (c) Peripheral areas situated mainly in the coastal regions of the west and north-west. • Optimum use of resources (principally land and labour) in areas with a history of long term decline could result in increases in gross revenue of 25 to 45 per cent.T he principal changes in resource use involve increases in off farm employment opportunities, participation by farmers in extensification and REPS programmes and the reallocation of land classified as rough grazing to forestry. • The challenge facing the various agencies involved in rural development is to ensure that development is widely spread to areas that have formerly suffered considerable decline.
    • A spatial analysis of agriculture in the Republic of Ireland, 1991 to 2000

      Crowley, Caroline; Meredith, David; Walsh, Jim A. (Teagasc, 01/01/2007)
      By linking farm census and administrative data from the CSO and DAF to a geographic information system and analysing the mapping output, this project shows the continued broad division of farming in the state into marginal farming areas in the north and west and more commercial farming areas in the south and east. While this division was compounded by the 1992 CAP reforms, and commercial farming became more spatially concentrated over the 1990s, the influence of the development in the non-farm economy, particularly in peri-urban rural areas across the state, provided local drivers of change that encouraged enterprise substitution to beef production, the farming system most readily combined by farm holders with another job. A full report on the mapping output will be produced in a forthcoming publication (see publications list).
    • Spatial Modelling for Rural Policy Analysis

      Hynes, Stephen (Teagasc, 2006-01-01)
      The objective of the project was to provide the diverse group of interest groups associated with the agri-food sector (farmers, policy makers etc.) with a microsimulation tool for the analysis of the relationships among regions and localities. This tool would also be able to project the spatial implications of economic development and policy change in rural areas. To this end the SMILE (Simulation Model for the Irish Local Economy) model was developed. SMILE is a static and dynamic spatial microsimulation model designed to analyse the impact of policy change and economic development on rural areas in Ireland. The model developed provides projection for population growth, spatial information on incomes and models farm activity at the electoral division (ED) level. The sub-projects funded under this project were concerned with the simulation, development and enhancement of a spatial econometric model of the Irish rural economy which would compliment the existing econometric models used in Teagasc; focusing on the agriculture and food sectors, previously constructed under the auspices of the FAPRI-Ireland Partnership by staff at Teagasc and NUI Maynooth. That partnership has produced an econometric model of the entire agri-food sector that has been simulated to produce estimates of the impact of policy changes on commodity prices, agricultural sector variables, food industry production, consumption of food both in Ireland and the EU and trade in food products, as well as costs, revenue and income of the agricultural sector. The SMILE model was built to compliment these other econometric models by using an holistic modeling approach that takes into account the spatial difference of rural populations, rural labour force and rural income.
    • The Strategic Development of Irish Livestock Marts.

      Hennebry, T.; Pitts, Eamonn; Harte, Laurence (Teagasc, 2002-09-01)
      A study of co-operative livestock marts revealed that cumulative marts turnover decreased by 26% from 1990 to 1999: Commission income as a percentage of turnover increased from 2% in 1990 to 3.2% in 1999. However operating expenses increased by 25% from 1990 to 1999. Operating expenses have since 1997, surpassed commision income, thus putting co-op marts in a collective loss making situation from their mart activities. However overall profit from co-op mart societies (including profit generated from all business activities) almost doubled between 1990 and 1999. While overall profitability of livestock marts societies has increased, twelve of thirty nine marts were in a loss making situation in 1999. Four of these marts have been in a permanent loss - making situation since 1990. All loss making societies in 1999 have little or no involvement in non-mart activities and almost all operate from just one site. In general, the large diversified societies are showing profitability. A number of strategic alternatives to deal with their situation were placed before mart executives. A diversification strategy is by far the most likely strategy to be adopted by marts for the future Most marts are unlikely to consider merging with other societies. Most marts have no plans to downsize and exit from the industry is not considered an option by any society. There is a recognition that there is an urgent need to rationalise the industry, but this strategy is likely to meet with a strong resistance from marts . A problem with rationalisation is that there are no incentives to make this strategy a reality. On the one hand, management would be reluctant to follow this approach, as it may be perceived to reflect badly on their own performance or may result in them being forced to seek alternative employment. On the other hand, the shareholders have little to gain and much to lose if the mart closes. Projections of past trends and impact of new policies would suggest continuing decline in turnover and profitability in the co-operative mart sector. Rationalisation is therefore absolutely essential. The industry cannot sustain the present number of marts. Diversification seems the most obvious option for the future of the industry. In general marts that have diversified are profitable and there is no reason why this trend cannot continue into the future.
    • Study on the Functioning of Land Markets in the EU Member states under the Influence of Measures applied under the Common Agricultural Policy

      Donnellan, Trevor; Hanrahan, Kevin; Hennessy, Thia (Teagasc, 21/07/2008)
      Study on the Functioning of Land Markets in the EU Member states under the Influence of Measures applied under the Common Agricultural Policy
    • Supply Chains Linking Food SMEs in Lagging Rural Regions in Ireland

      Henchion, Maeve; McIntyre, Bridin; Meredith, David; Downey, Gerard; European Commission; QLK5-CT-2000-00841 (Teagasc, 01/04/2005)
      This report reflects the Irish contribution to a 3-year EU-funded research project, SUPPLIERS, which was concerned with the development, innovation, competitiveness and sustainability of food SMEs in lagging rural regions(LRRs) of the EU and Poland. It summarises the results of the research conducted in Ireland, evaluates these findings and makes recommendations to benefit food SMEs located in Ireland’s LRRs. Two regions were selected for study in Ireland. These were the West, comprising counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon, and the Northwest, comprising counties Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim. Both are classified as Objective 1 regions reflecting their predominantly rural character, economic disadvantage and relative remoteness from urban centres. Three food products were selected for detailed study in each region. Products selected in the West were mushrooms, farmed salmon and speciality foods and, in the Northwest, organic produce, farmed shellfish and prepared consumer foods. This product range encompassed a range of chains from local to international, integrated to fragmented, direct to indirect, providing a basis for comparison and evaluation of different chain structures. This summary report concentrates on the results of four surveys carried out over the course of the study. Producers, intermediaries, commercial customers and support institutions were surveyed.