Teagasc has, today (Thursday, October 10th), published its annual report and financial statements for 2018.
Excluding the net deferred funding for pensions, Teagasc income in 2018 was €195 million (2017 income: €187 million).
There was an increase of €6.432 million in grant in 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.
Proceeds 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 farmland.
Tackling Climate Change
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, Teagasc said, 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 turfgrass 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.
The VistaMilk SFI Research Centre was established 2018.
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.
Teagasc secured €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 said that it has reached its target of €19 million from Horizon 2020 with two years still remaining.