Smart Farming, the voluntary resource efficiency Programme run by the Irish Farmers’ Association in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency, has been selected as a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Champion for 2019 and 2020.
Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment made the announcement today (Wed.) at the National Ploughing Championships in Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co Carlow. He said, “We need to take actions in a broad range of policy areas to put us on a more sustainable pathway. The Sustainable Development Goals draw those together in an integrated way. Achieving them will be a challenge. We need everyone to get involved and play their part in whatever way they can. The Champions chosen here today will be beacons of best practice for the coming year. They will lead the way with practical examples for how we can all contribute.”
IFA President Joe Healy added, “Smart Farming being selected as an SDGs Champion is a great achievement for all the farmers who volunteer to take part in Smart Farming and share their learnings with their neighbours. I continue to be inspired by the willingness of these farmers to go the extra green mile and provide sustainability leadership in their communities. Today is about acknowledging the SDG award, after that it’s about championing the SDGs in the Smart Farming Programme and across the IFA membership.”
Laura Burke, Director General of the EPA said, “The EPA in partnership with the IFA will use the role of SDG Champion to clearly link Smart Farming activities to the Sustainable Development Goals – including Climate Action & Life on Land. Participants demonstrate how day to day actions can deliver environmental benefits and resource efficiency; and also share their learnings with neighbouring farmers”.
Thomas Cooney, Smart Farming Programme Leader concluded by acknowledging the considerable work of the IFA and EPA in developing the programme, and the extensive knowledge and technical assistance provided by Teagasc, UCD, the National Federation of Group Water Schemes, SEAI, FTMTA, the Fertilizer Association of Ireland and the Irish Grassland Association. He encouraged farmers to log-on to smartfarming.ie and take the Smart Farming cost and environmental savings challenge.