Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council have appointed a consultant team to develop and Agriculture Strategy for the Borough.
The Agriculture Industry is the underpinning industry in our Borough. The growth of mainstream agriculture, agri-food industry, agri-business subsectors, manufacturing, machinery, veterinary, haulage/transportation of agri-commodities are interdependent on the success of the Agriculture Industry under-pinning the relevance and relationship of agriculture industry as the heart of all businesses.
The purpose and format of the strategy The purpose of the strategy is to set the direction for agriculture, agri-food, agri business and agri tech in the Borough. A thorough analysis of Agriculture Industry in the Borough at a local level is required and this will inform the development of a plan containing recommendations and innovative approaches established through consultations with leading stakeholder Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) will be required, learning from international best practice and representatives from the Agriculture Industry.
It is expected the strategy document will be set out in two stages;
Stage 1 – Agriculture Profile This profile should capture a clear picture, analysis and assessment of Agriculture Industry contribution to the local economy. It should include a review of the industry and its sectors to identify any key farming trends, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats which need to be addressed or supported in order to enhance, sustain and grow the industry. The output should include an evidence base for action, providing updates on statistical data, and clearly setting out the socio-economic strength and challenges for this industry and importance of the food supply chain in the Borough. The profile should take into account the health, safety, well-being and education of farming families and workers in the industry, and those availing of social farming.
Stage 2 – The strategy The Strategy will be built upon findings from research, surveys and engagement with stakeholders, and will contain recommendations to increase productivity, improve resilience, maintain and expand the capabilities of the agricultural industry, contribute positively to the supply chain, agri-food industry, agri tech and agri business in our borough whilst considering the boroughs competitive advantage.
Stakeholder Engagement Consultation is valuable in developing this strategy and provides an opportunity for input, leading to the development of creative and realistic recommendations to address opportunities and challenges for the industry.
The consultant team have developed a plan to engage with an extensive range of key stakeholders particularly the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), Food Heartland Forum, SOAR, agriculture stakeholder/interest groups, mainstream farming (Farm Business ID holders), agriculture related businesses, and agri related sectors, farming communities, farming families and rural communities.
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