Farmers and the wider public have been called on to have their say on the ongoing public consultation in relation to a national climate and air roadmap for the agriculture sector to 2030 and beyond – titled: ‘Ag-Climatise’.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has today, Friday, November 29, encouraged more farmers to get involved in the consultation process which he says “will shape Irish agriculture over the next decade”.

The minister explained: “Nobody is more familiar with the climate challenges our industry faces than the farmers of this country.

We need to hear their views. It is critical that we face this challenge together and chart a credible roadmap for the industry.

“Since the consultation opened last week, my department has already received numerous worthwhile responses.”

The structure of the roadmap is composed of three elements:
  • Implementing changes now. Examples of proposed actions include: Adoption of low-emission slurry spreading equipment and changes in fertiliser type;
  • Acting in partnership: To be successful, all stakeholders, from farm to fork, will have to contribute in a spirit of partnership, bearing in mind a just transition for all sectors of our industry;
  • Preparing for the future: Using the best available science to inform policy development and to help stakeholders make strategic choices for the future.

While the initial focus will be on implementing changes now, for example, in relation to issues such as nutrient management on every farm in Ireland, the minister was keen to highlight some of the emerging opportunities for Irish agriculture in the medium term.

Biorefinery Glas

Minister Creed highlighted the ongoing work within the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) called Biorefinery Glas.

He said: “The whole bioeconomy will offer exciting opportunities for Irish farmers. We are seeing fresh grass being converted into a range of valuable bio-materials.

“Grass is no longer just a valuable animal feed for livestock.

We can maximise its value to the primary producer by extracting many useful products and still be left with a nutritious cattle feed fibre at the end of the process.

The minister stressed that all sections of Irish society are being asked to contribute.

The minister concluded: “I want farmers to understand, and this is a very important point, that all sections of society are being asked to contribute in this transition towards a low carbon society.

The consultation will end on Friday, January 10.

An online survey to facilitate a response to the questions. Ag-Climatise survey is available here.

Written comments are also welcome by e-mail to Agc[email protected].

The all of Government Climate Action Plan can be found here.