Reacting to the report on the impact of climate change on Irish agriculture, IFA President John Bryan said there is no substance to the predictions made by the Environmental Pillar as they are based on unsubstantiated assumptions, which the authors of the report accept themselves.
John Bryan said some of the assumptions in the report about the likely adverse affects on Irish agriculture appear contradictory. “For example, the cost to the arable sector is put at a far higher level than its entire output at the moment”.
He said, “What is real and deliverable are the growth plans for the sector, which are on track based on what has happened since 2009. Food Harvest expansion plans are sustainable. Our export target is actually ahead of where we expected to be in 2013 and agriculture is one of the few sectors reporting an increase in jobs this year”.
John Bryan said Ireland can justifiably say it has one of the most sustainable models of agricultural production in the world. “Initiatives such as Origin Green and the measurement of our carbon footprint on over 30,000 farms show the level of commitment we have to a system of food production that is low on emissions”.
The IFA President said there has to be a debate on food security within the UN framework ahead of any decisions about future climate change policy, especially relating to agriculture. IFA is advocating that carbon emissions from agriculture are measured on kilos of meat and litres of milk. Countries such as Ireland cannot be penalised because of the significance of agriculture in our economy.