IFA Environment Chairman Thomas Cooney has called on Government to ensure that the soon to be published recommendations from the nitrates derogation review support the sustainable development of the sector.
Thomas Cooney said, “The recommendations of the expert group established by the Department of Agriculture cannot be just about more restrictions. IFA has presented a robust package of proposals as part of a Sustainability Development Programme which must be supported by Government”.
Key amongst IFA’s proposals include:
- Retention of the nitrates derogation for the cohort of farmers who contribute over €900m in agricultural output each year, in every county.
- No additional obligations on lower stocked farms.
- Extension of the accelerated capital allowance relief for the purchase of low emissions slurry spreading equipment.
- Co-ordination of Government Department’s and state agencies to deliver farm scale renewables and other measures in Teagasc’s climate roadmap.
- Supports for greater use of protected urea, lime, slurry additives and soil aeration.
“Farming is playing its part when it comes to environmental action. Phosphorous use efficiency almost doubled over the past two decades. Ireland’s dairy farmers have the lowest GHG emissions per kilo of output in the EU. Ireland’s beef farmers are in the top five for lowest GHG emissions per kilo of output,” he said.
“This underpins €13.5bn in annual agri-food exports and 300,000 jobs across every parish in Ireland. This review must not miss an opportunity to support the further sustainable development of the sector.”