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Agricultural towns vital to Ireland's economy - analysis

A new economic analysis of the contribution of agricultural and rural towns to Ireland's economic strength has shown the vital role these towns have in sustaining rural areas and employment.

The analysis was carried out by KPMG on behalf of the Irish Farmers Journal.

It found that the towns of Ballyhaunis, Cavan, Charleville and Enniscorthy collectively contribute €5 billion to Ireland's national economic outlook, and 41,000 jobs in those towns and their hinterlands are linked to activities in the agri-food sector.

Of the towns, Charleville in Co Cork had the largest economic output at €1.7 billion and 13,000 people in agri-related employment.

Cavan generates €1.3 billion and employs 11,600. Enniscorthy generates €1.2 billion and employs 9,878, while Ballyhaunis in Co Mayo generates €798 million and employs 6,845 in agri-related jobs.

The report also noted the main concerns that farmers and businesses in each area have relating to input prices, adapting to climate change and sustainability targets, stagnant product prices and sourcing and retaining labour.

The report also assessed Cookstown in Co Tyrone and found it generates £1.6 billion in economic activity and has 10,000 people employed in jobs linked to the agri-food sector.

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