Founding Members

Irish Aid, the Irish Government’s programme for overseas development, is managed by the Development Co-operation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The work that we do in fighting global poverty and hunger is integral to Ireland’s foreign policy. Our expertise and long-standing commitment to these objectives is internationally recognised. Engaging with IFIAD provides Irish Aid with an opportunity to strengthen our current collaboration on agricultural development with the Irish private sector, academia, NGO partners, State bodies and others in pursuit of these important goals.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s mission is to lead the sustainable development of the agri-food, forestry and marine sector and to optimise its contribution to national economic development and the natural environment. It manages part of the Government’s overseas development budget and allocates this to development programmes managed by UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and UN World Food Programme. These programmes resonate strongly with Ireland’s commitment to contribute to the eradication of the global problems of hunger and food security. By engaging with IFIAD the Department can share its experience in the agri-food sector with other countries embarking on a similar journey.

Teagasc is the Irish national body providing integrated research, advisory and training services to the agriculture and food sectors.  The organisation emphasises the need to consider the constraints to Irish agriculture within the context of global food security and climate change challenges. Teagasc is committed to utilising its capacity in agriculture and food research, knowledge transfer and education for the benefit of agricultural development in poorer countries. This builds on longstanding experience with technical assistance projects in developing countries. Engaging with IFIAD will ensure that Teagasc aligns with other players in strengthening Ireland’s contribution to agricultural development in developing countries.

University of Galway is widely engaged in multi-disciplinary activities relating to agricultural research for development. With an €50 million annual research income, University of Galway has 2400 academic/research staff, 17000 undergraduate students, and 1200 postgraduate students. Working closely with international and developing country partners, teams within the University of Galway Plant & AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC) are extensively engaged in agricultural research for development, and in capacity building (e.g. MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security). The IFIAD will enable University of Galway to forge more effective evidence-based “agriculture for development” impact pathways with national and international partners.

UCC is one of the largest universities in Ireland with approximately 20,000 full-time students, and a strong international outlook. UCC academics have a particularly strong teaching and research focus on agricultural development and the agri-food sector, including activities related to sustainable agriculture, food security and agriculture-nutrition linkages, and there are strong connections to the Irish agri-food sector. UCC also offers a BSc in International Development and Food Policy and engages with Irish development NGOs to provide these students with practical experience. Engaging with IFIAD will provide a valuable learning platform for UCC to further develop partnerships with like-minded organisations and to exchange ideas and information.

UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science (SAFS) covers research and teaching programmes focusing on: Animal and Crop Production; Agribusiness and Rural Development; Agri-Environment and Sustainable Resource Management; and Food Science and Nutrition; which collectively span the complete food chain from farm to fork. Our research contributes to improving the productivity and the sustainability of agriculture and the environment, and to the quality and security of the food produced, and to consumer well-being. Engaging with IFIAD will enable the UCD SAFS to enhance its contribution in partnership with other members to addressing the global challenges of hunger and climate change.

Self Help Africa (SHA) is an international development organisation with operations in nine countries across East, Southern and West Africa. We work with smallholder farmers, farmer associations, cooperatives and agribusiness to help them grow and sell more food, improve diets and diversify incomes and make their livelihoods more sustainable and resilient to external shocks. We also work to raise awareness of smallholder farmer issues and represent their interests at policy and institutional level. By engaging with IFIAD we aim to contribute to the generation and dissemination of knowledge and innovation, and the identification of new research and development partnership opportunities.

Concern Worldwide is an international development and humanitarian organisation based in Dublin, with offices in London, New York and Seoul, that works in 28 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean, The majority of Concern’s beneficiaries, the extreme poor, live in remote rural areas and rely on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods so over 40% of Concern’s budget of €180 million is spent on agriculture. Through IFIAD Concern Worldwide will access Irish agricultural research and innovations, share best practice to enhance the impact of our programs, and work with the Forum members for greater influence in national and international fora.

Vita is an Irish development partner committed to fighting hunger and climate change in Africa. We deliver community led, knowledge backed programmes to rural households, working with skilled partners to ensure maximum impact that enables people to build sustainable livelihoods. This integrated approach allows us to scale up our programmes for a much wider reach. By engaging with IFIAD, Vita can ensure that we continue to forge new partnerships while building on existing ones. These partnerships demonstrate Ireland’s leadership role in building resilience to hunger and climate change in Africa through agricultural innovation.

Trócaire was set up in 1973 as the overseas development agency for the Catholic Church in Ireland. Trócaire’s mandate is two-fold: to support the most vulnerable people in the developing world and to raise awareness of the root causes of poverty and inequality at home in Ireland. Today Trócaire works in 25 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Addressing the combined challenge of food insecurity, poverty, climate change and gender inequality is critical to Trócaire’s practical and policy response. Trócaire will participate in IFIAD to share its work on rights based transformative approaches to agriculture and to learn from others working in Ireland on agriculture and development.

Misean Cara is a faith-based NGO of Irish religious and lay missionary organisations. Our members live and work long-term with marginalised and vulnerable local communities in some of the world’s most impoverished regions, in the areas of education, healthcare, livelihoods, environmental sustainability and human rights. Misean Cara works in partnership with local communities, international and national agencies, to make a difference to the lives of the poorest. Engaging with IFIAD will enable Misean Cara to generate and share experience, knowledge and innovation in agriculture for development, and contribute to sustainable rural development and sustainable livelihoods of farmers in developing countries.

Sustainable Food Systems Ireland (SFSI) is the international consultancy group of the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine and four state agencies – Teagasc, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.  SFSI offers the expertise of these bodies to partners overseas, on a commercial basis.  This whole-of-government approach enables us to focus on systems-wide development, in addition to the individual components of effective agri-food value chains, such as productivity, animal health, food safety, enterprise development, R&D systems, knowledge transfer etc.  Being part of IFIAD will help SFSI to build wider coalitions of knowledge, skills and impact.

Greenfield International is a privately owned International consultancy business which provides independent advice and practical solutions to Government agencies, Industry and service sector, NGOs and farmer clients. Particular experience in Research, innovation support, enterprise, capacity building and change management. Track record working in Agri-Food sector on agriculture, food security, value chain and governance. In country (development country) experience includes, East Africa, South America, the Caribbean and Asia. The overall goal is to add value by identifying opportunities and then helping clients to implement effective and sustainable solutions.

ICMSA is a democratic, non-political association that represents the views of Irish farmers at all levels. We particularly focus on defending the rights and incomes of family dairy farms. Membership throughout the State works for the advancement of farm families and the welfare of rural districts. ICMSA contributes and responds to all relevant EU and State policy. We are the Irish constituent of the European Milk Board and can point to a record of over 60 years of solid work and representation. ICMSA is – always and everywhere – on the side of the farmers with no other interest permitted to exert influence. ICMSA is committed to engage with IFIAD and will contribute to the best of its ability.

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) is Ireland’s largest representative organisation for farmers, representing 75,000 members across all agriculture sectors. The IFA has spent more than 60 years protecting and defending the interests of Irish farmers nationally and in Europe. The Association works to improve the incomes and conditions of all farm families, and to promote, foster and develop a sustainable agriculture sector in Ireland. Working within IFIAD, IFA will share its knowledge and expertise and draw from the experiences of our farmer members to contribute to agricultural advancement and sustainable farmer livelihoods in developing countries.

ICSA (Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers’ Association) represents over 10,000 cattle and sheep farmers with members in every county in Ireland. The head office is located in Portlaoise. The association lobbies for the interests of the cattle and sheep sectors at local, national and EU level and is a recognised national social partner and a registered EU lobby group. ICSA has carried out consultancy work with farm organisations in Botswana in 2015, where the focus was on enabling farmer representatives to be better organised in negotiating with government and other agencies in regard to the problems in the cattle farming sector in Botswana.

Macra na Feirme is a voluntary organisation for young people between the ages of 17 and 35. The organisation consists of a nationwide network of clubs with six key areas of activity: agriculture, sports, travel, public speaking, community involvement and performing arts. One of Macra’s main aims is to help young farmers get established in farming and assist them through learninag and skills development. Macra works with and represents the views of young farmers nationally and internationally. Macra, through its partnership with Vita has been involved in a project to assist young farmers in Ethiopia and looks forward to working with IFIAD.