Ireland has a population of around 4.6 million people. The agri-food sector in Ireland contributes a value of EUR 24 billion to the national economy, generates 6.3% of gross value added, almost 10% of Ireland’s exports and provides 7.7% of national employment.
The top produced commodities in the agri-food sector are animal products, milk and various meats. Thus, grass forages for animal consumption are at the core of this profitable industry.
84-99% of the food energy consumed in Ireland comes from crops that are not native to the region. Most of these plants’ diversity is found elsewhere on the planet.
Ireland ratified the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) in 2004, joining 142 other contracting parties in commitment to the global system. Additionally, Ireland contributed USD 4,144,250 to the Crop Trust Endowment Fund.