Survey highlights importance of farming to Irish economy

A survey recently commissioned Red C poll by Agri Aware found that 94 per cent of Irish people are supportive of Irish farmers and see the agriculture sector as important for the economy.

The findings represent a significant rise since Agri Aware surveys in 2007 and 2017, which saw support of 72 percent and 88 per cent respectively.

The vast majority of respondents (87 per cent) also believed that the countryside is an important part in attracting tourists to Ireland.

The survey also showed a knowledge gap has emerging between the public and farming. Only 11 per cent of those asked think Irish schoolchildren have a good understanding of farming with the number rising to just 16 per cent among adults.

Spending time on farms and experiencing agriculture is viewed by almost half of respondents as the best way to increase awareness of the sector.

78 per cent of respondents agreed that farm investments are important to improve greenhouse gas emissions and water quality.

Alan Jagoe, Chairman of Agri Aware commented: “This is a survey we regularly commission to try get the pulse of the nation towards farming.

“There is obvious concern about a potential disconnect between the public and where their food comes from, but it is great to see the importance of agriculture is not lost on the Irish public.

“Agriculture has always played such a pivotal role in Ireland socially and economically, so it is important to us that continues to be recognised.

“Some public environmental concerns are inevitable, but we are confident in the measures farmers are taking as we continue to produce the most sustainable animal products in the western world keeping top quality food on the plates of Irish consumers”.