IFA President Joe Healy has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed of the opening of a dedicated TAMS programme for investment in infrastructure, equipment and technology by tillage farmers.
Mr Healy said, “The provision of targeted funding for investment by tillage farmers under the TAMS programme will enable growers to maintain competitiveness while reducing the sector’s carbon and environmental footprint.
“Irish growers supply quality grain, oilseeds and proteins for use in Ireland’s important livestock, milling, malting, brewing and distilling industries. Irish tillage farmers are world class operators but they work in a very challenging environment competing against world prices. They have to contend with extreme price and income volatility in addition to the vagaries of the Irish weather.
“Targeted funding will help maintain competitiveness and facilitate the further expansion of arable crop production. This will support the growth of Ireland’s rapidly expanding dairy, whiskey and gluten free oats export orientated businesses. Increased farm-to-farm trade coupled with the use of technology will also allow grain farmers to reduce agriculture’s carbon and environmental footprint.”
IFA National Grain Committee Chairman Liam Dunne said, “A vibrant tillage sector has the potential to contribute significantly to reducing Ireland’s carbon emissions through the supply of biomass crop residues as well as providing much needed biodiversity in predominantly grassland areas.The commercialisation of existing and new technologies such as torrefaction and hydrothermal carbonisation will allow for the incorporation up to 50% biomass in the manufacture of smokeless fuels thus addressing carbon emissions from the residential home heat market.”
“The provision of targeted funding to the tillage sector should give considerable scope for its expansion when markets turn. However, this expansion will depend on increased productivity and profitability through reducing input use and crop establishment costs,” Liam Dunne said.