Wednesday, 28 February 1962
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Clinton: asked the Minister for Agriculture if any effort is being made to find export outlets for horticultural produce, or if any attempt is being made to prepare for the standards of grading likely to be encountered in future markets.
Mr. Smith: Advantage is being taken of every opportunity to promote exports of high-class horticultural produce, raw and processed. As the Deputy is, no doubt, aware Britain is one of the largest importers of horticultural produce in the world and our exports have free access to that market. In addition, of course, our home market for horticultural produce is protected in the growers' interests.
Mr. Clinton: Is the Minister aware that a recent survey made in County Dublin both for agriculture and horticulture indicates that almost every line of production is blocked because of the limitation of markets? That is the advice which our advisory bodies have given us.
Mr. Smith: Of course, the Deputy, without any survey at all, will realise our position here as far as horticultural produce is concerned. As I have said, the home market has been protected and it has had to be protected for reasons known to the Deputy as well as to me. The fact that it has to be protected brings home to us the difficulties of our taking advantage of the market across the water which is open to us—a market which is, I admit, highly competitive.
Mr. Smith: I am talking about peas. Peas are a crop for which our soil and climate should be suitable. Yet, were it not for the fact that the production of peas had to be supported by tariffs and otherwise, we could not even have reached the stage of development we have reached.
Mr. McQuillan: Is it not a fact that a number of companies in this State which buy over 50 per cent. of their products abroad for processing in Ireland have protection against the Sugar Company in the home market?
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