Poultry producers in the Republic of Ireland are to benefit from a new knowledge transfer program, the country’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has announced.

Poultry farmers who participate in the scheme will be required to collaborate with a facilitator in developing a Farm Improvement Plan, involving the completion of a profit monitor, a carbon navigator, a flock health plan and a breeding plan. Additionally, each farmer will be required to attend five Knowledge Exchange Group meetings annually to share best practice and knowledge.

The department is currently developing a new Agri-Food Strategy up to 2025, setting out key requirements to maximize the contribution agriculture makes to economic growth.

The poultry industry, which was worth EUR175 million (US$218 million) in 2013, has faced considerable challenges with rising input costs and significant pressure from low cost imports. Its share of gross agricultural output has declined and now stands at a little over 2 percent.

Exports, however, have been growing over recent years, and the department believes that more could be made of export opportunities, particularly for products such as feet and cuts which are not in demand domestically.