Sustainability at farm level, Teagasc leads the way

Teagasc is hosting a seminar on farm sustainability this October in Kildalton College with speakers from the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Bord Bia, Glanbia, ABP Group and the Irish Dairy Board taking part.

Among the topics to be discussed are: How efficient are Irish farms in terms of nutrient use? How do we fare in fostering farmland biodiversity? And how much water do our farms consume?

Some of speakers include Dr John Gilliland, Teagasc’ Prof Gerry Boyle,Dr Pierre Gerber of the FAO, Sean Molloy of Glanbia, John Durkan of ABP Group and Anne Randles of the Irish Dairy Board.

Teagasc is now developing indicators to capture all these aspects of sustainability, at farm level, at national level and internationally in partnership with the FAO.

“In this seminar, we shine a light on these indicators of sustainability and examine the proof to date of agriculture’s green credentials,” the organisers explained.

In addition, the seminar will examine the prospects for Irish farmers in terms of the Food Harvest 2020 strategy. According to the organisers: “Irish farms are ideally placed to contribute to the growing global demand for food – projected to rise by 60 per cent by 2050. But how can we ensure that our natural environment becomes the engine of agricultural growth? In other words: can growth be green?”

Teagasc also plans to showcase its expertise on sustainability with the launch of its Sustainability Demonstration Farm Initiative. “This initiative will train the next generation of farmers in the concept and practical aspects of agricultural sustainability and provide a unique environment to evaluate emerging technologies in the context of an operational farm,” the organisers added.

The free event takes place on 3 October and booking is required via email to [email protected].

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