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Written Answers - Departmental Agencies

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 755 No. 1

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 22.  Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly  asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney  the reason Teagasc is spending millions on classrooms in the Botanic Gardens, when such facilities already exist in Kinsealy, Dublin, and all the practical work has to be undertaken in that area. [7005/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney This is an operational matter for Teagasc. Under the Agriculture, (Research, Training and Advice) Act, 1988 Teagasc has statutory responsibility for the delivery of education, advisory and research services to the agriculture sector. Teagasc develops its programmes, services and activities in conjunction with its clients and partners overseen by an Authority that is representative of the main stakeholder groups in the agrifood sector. It is a matter for Teagasc and its Board to prioritise activities in the delivery of these services and to allocate its resources in accordance with these priorities.

The College of Amenity Horticulture is based at the National Botanic Gardens and it trains students for employment in the amenity horticulture industry through the provision of courses at Certificate and Degree levels in Amenity Horticulture, Greenkeeping and Floristry. The College currently provides training for 380 full and part-time students. I understand Teagasc is investing €2.5m to upgrade educational facilities in the Botanic Gardens because the existing building facilities are below standard to conduct the courses currently undertaken there and to address quality issues relating to student welfare etc. The planned investment involves refurbishing the existing educational facility and the building of new classroom facilities. I understand that the decision to invest at the Botanic Gardens site predates any decision to move operations from Kinsealy.

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