The new Agri-Food Strategy to 2030, which was published last week, has been described as a “crucial moment” for the future of Irish agriculture.

Responding to the publication of the strategy document last Saturday (April 17), the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) highlighted: “The draft document is a product of over 12 months of discussion.

“Everyone who stayed around the table had to compromise somewhat in order to allow the document to go out for consultation,” IFA president Tim Cullinan said this morning.

“The document does acknowledge the importance of the three pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental and social – and has an emphasis on farm viability, but there are aspects of it which will be more challenging for farmers.

“The next couple of months will be vital. All our commodity committees and our National Council will be examining the document in real detail,” he added.

Cullinan described the Agri-Food Strategy as “far-reaching” and that it will be “the roadmap for our largest indigenous sector for the next decade”.

The IFA president noted: “There is a clear commitment in the document to carry out a full impact assessment of the proposals on farmers.”

He also argued that the targets proposed in the strategy in relation to the environment and climate change “are very challenging” and cannot be achieved “without significant government funding”.

“Farmers are willing to play their part in climate action and they must be at the centre of government policy.

“They will be looking to the government to provide support, investment and practical policy measures to allow them to continue to produce quality food,” Cullinan pointed out.

He concluded by pointing out that an analysis of carbon sequestration on farms would be needed, saying: “The discussion around emissions in the sector has to take account of the carbon that is sequestered and stored on farms”.