Minister Breen leads Enterprise Ireland trade visit to Agrofarm, Russia
7th March, 2018
Focus on showcasing Irish agritech solutions to Russian companies
12,000 visitors including decision makers from operators of farms of gargantuan scale expected to visit Enterprise Ireland’s stand at Agrofarm
Pat Breen T.D. Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection begins a two-day Enterprise Ireland trade visit to Moscow, Russia today 7th February 2018.
Central to the itinerary is one of Russia’s largest agricultural trade fairs; Agrofarm, which has earned a reputation as the leading international exhibition for animal husbandry and animal breeding in Russia.
Five Irish companies will exhibit on the Enterprise Ireland stand at Agrofarm; Dairymaster; Lir Agri; Moocall; Sustainable Food Systems Ireland (SFSI) and Weatherby Scientific. They will pitch their products and services to decision-makers from the Russian agriculture sector, including the operators of farms. The largest farm in Russia is operated by Prodimex and is over 570,000 hectares – almost twice the size of County Clare.
The Russian Government is concentrating on increasing farm efficiency and rebuilding its agricultural infrastructure and as part of this response, has started looking to countries like Ireland for knowledge and new technologies to accelerate this process, opening up opportunities for innovative Irish agritech companies.
Bringing these client companies to Agrofarm is part of Enterprise Ireland’s Irish Advantage export promotion campaign, which aims to promote the advantages of sourcing suppliers from Ireland directly to buyers in key export markets.
During the trade visit, Minister Breen will witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Teagasc, SFSI and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), the All Russian Animal Husbandry Institute, and the Ministry of Agriculture of Tatarstan to establish a database of the genetics of cattle herds in Tatarstan (part of the Russian Federation).
The first phase of the agreement will commence in March 2018. The project will result in the development of a prototype infrastructure for a regional system of dairy herd breeding assessment, the first step in genetic improvement. Ireland’s experience as a pioneer in adopting genomics as the preferred selection method in cattle breeding is regarded as extremely valuable to Russian authorities as they seek to significantly increase the profitability and efficiency of the dairy and beef herd. The Irish partners involved are Teagasc, Sustainable Food Systems Ireland, the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation and the National Cattle Breeding Centre.
Welcoming the agreement, Minister Breen said; “this Memorandum of Understanding is the result of almost 2 years of negotiations between the Irish Government and the Ministry of Agriculture of Tatarstan (part of the Russian Federation). Ireland is proud of our expertise in the agriculture sector and as this project shows, we are very open to sharing the knowledge we have gained in the transformation of the genomics industry in Ireland with our international partners. We are pleased that the pilot project will take place in Tatarstan and are excited about the prospect of future expansion into other Russian regions.
Gerard MacCarthy, Enterprise Ireland Director, Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States said;
“A growth in exports of agritech products and services to Russia and the CIS is important to achieve Enterprise Ireland’s strategic objective of supporting clients to deliver 60,000 new jobs and add an additional €5bn in exports from 2017 – 2020. Enterprise Ireland currently has 123 clients in the agritech sector which exported goods and services valued at over €235m in 2016. This trade visit to Agrofarm is an ideal platform to showcase the world-class capabilities of Irish agritech companies and highlight that Ireland is open to doing business with Russian farm operators”.
Mr. MacCarthy concluded, “Supporting our client companies to identify new markets for their products and services is part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy to enable our clients to build scale and expand global reach as part of our response to the UK’s decision to leave the EU”.
During the two-day trade visit Minister Breen will address the Global Irish Network and visit Kerry Group’s Regional Centre of Excellence and Innovation on the outskirts of Moscow, in anticipation of Kerry Group starting production at its new Dry Blending facility in the Moscow region later this quarter. The visit aims to underline the Irish Government’s commitment to Irish companies such as Kerry Group which continue to increase scale in Russia.
Note for Editors:
Sustainable Food Systems Ireland www.sfsi.ie
Sustainable Food Systems Ireland (SFSI) is a consortium of five Government owned organisations which govern, regulate and develop the food and agriculture sectors in Ireland. SFSI is led by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and includes Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia, Teagasc and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. The purpose of establishing SFSI was to provide a portal to Ireland’s agri-food expertise, experience and skills for international partners at government, regional and sectoral level. SFSI offers consultancy and training services, and is active in the Middle East, Africa, Russia, and Southern and Eastern Europe.
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