Okoli, Pius

Brexit: Implications, challenges and opportunities for Agri-Food sector in Northern Ireland






School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering
Queen's University Belfast
Level 3
David Keir Building
Stranmillis Road
Belfast BT9 5AG
Northern Ireland



+44 (0)2890 974254


Current Research:

AThe agri-food sector is of vital importance to the economy of Northern Ireland both now and in the future (Northern Ireland Curriculum, 2017). For many years, it has primarily been the main driver for the economy both in terms of job provisions and the sustainable of the rural sector. Under the “Going for Growth agri-food strategy 2013”, the agri-food sector has been identified as a key future driver for the economic development of Northern Ireland (Allen, 2016). The strategy aims to grow sales in this sector by 60% to £7billion while at the same time increase employment in the sector by 15% to 115,000 by the year 2020. In addition, the 2013 agri-food strategy further aims to increase international sales and the total added value of products and services from local companies by 75% and 60% per cent respectively.

Ever since the Brexit vote in June 2016, the performance of the agri-food business sector within the wider Northern Ireland’s economy has come under increasing focus because of what Brexit portents for the future of this very important sector and Northern Ireland in general. Also, there now exists among policy makes and practitioners a great deal of anxiety about the “overall health” of the agri-food business sector in Northern Ireland following the Brexit referendum (Allen, 2016). The reasons for the anxiety are twofold: Brexit will have significant negative impacts to both Northern Ireland in general and the agri-food sector within Northern Ireland (UK Government Brexit impact study, 2017, Van Reenen et al.,2017, Allen 2016, Deloitte, 2017). 

The dual vulnerability of Northern Ireland and agri-food in the context of Brexit referendum vote and what this portends for the sector and the province is the focus of this subject of my research. The research aims to investigate how Northern Ireland’s agri-food sector is preparing for Brexit, and whether there is any for optimism that, one day, the agri-food sector in Northern Ireland, will drive the economy as envisaged in the “going for growth” agri-food strategic vision of Northern Ireland.

Supervisors: Professor Aileen Stockdale & Dr Linda Price


BSc Architecture (5-years)
PGC Urban and Building Conservation
March/ Master of Architecture (2-year programme).


Winner of Dean College of Architecture and Graduate School Certificates of Merit for Academic Excellence and best MArch graduate in my year.




Member Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA)
Member International Council on Museum and Sites (ICOMOS)