Growth in Ireland’s Agricultural Sector
Agriculture: One of the Most Advanced Sectors
The agriculture sector in Ireland is one of the most advanced sectors in the country with an annual turnover of €26 billion and a payroll of €1.7 billion. Over a period of five years, this sector has earned the country increased amount of revenue especially from the exports of farm produce to various countries across the globe. For instance, in 2014, Irish agricultural goods worth €10.5 billion were exported to 120 countries, with the UK taking the largest share. Half of this was exclusively by Irish-born companies.
True Success Through Expansion
The success of this sector can be partially attributed to the expansionary strategy of the government which was introduced in 2015. This strategy called Food Wise 2025 aims to enhance creation of job opportunities with the agriculture sector being one of the main areas of focus. Basically, the objectives of this strategy are to increase the value of agri-food exports by 85%, enhance the value of primary production by 65%, create more than 23,000 direct jobs in the agriculture sector, and increasing value added by 70% in the agri-food, fishery and wood sector.
Utilizing the Government’s R&D Tax Credit
In order to realise this strategy, companies can take advantage of the government’s Research and Development (R&D) tax credit program. With this incentive, innovative farm or agriculture-based activity can receive a tax credit of 25% on eligible expenditures. These innovative activities should be carried out in a systematic manner and should qualify to be classified as either basic research, applied research, or experimental research. Furthermore, the activities being undertaken should only be carried out within the permitted field of science and technology. It is worth noting that innovations in farm machines as well as laboratory-based procedures and expenditures on facilities where the research is undertaken are also covered by this tax incentive.