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Snippet Contents:

The Minister's reply is welcome. That he still has not given ministerial approval to this planned investment is welcome also. We can have an Irish solution to this problem and that is what will benefit rural Ireland. That is the essence in terms of the reason these semi-State companies were founded. I accept the Minister's reply.
Currently, the average stocking rate is 80 kg/ha, which means that in terms of efficiency, we are using only 50% of our land. We have huge potential to grow energy crops in the agri-sector. We can develop this to benefit rural Ireland greatly. We have serious problems attracting investment into rural Ireland and this is an opportunity I do not want to see Bord na Móna let pass by.
The Minister's reply is along the lines of where I had hoped the Government's policy would be trying to take Bord na Móna and the biomass industry.
The sustainability of our food production is key to us. We see the problems the Dutch are experiencing with various environmental restrictions. We can take shortcuts to prevent this country going down that same cul-de-sac, and energy crops will have a huge part to play in that development in the future and in giving assurance to the consumer, and to the world, that we are producing food in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.
This opportunity might not knock again. We have the ingredients to do this in rural Ireland. I welcome the Minister's reply and the initiatives coming from the Government. We can make this work for rural Ireland.