IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy has welcomed the Government’s decision today to establish a sustainability support programme that works with farmers. He said, it must deliver both economic and environmental benefits to the sector and wider rural communities in the years ahead.
Mr. Kennedy said, “Delivering compliance through farm advisory, as proposed in this Programme, is always a better option than imposing penalties on farmers. This collaborative approach is a key measure sought by IFA in our on-going talks with Government regarding the review of the nitrate regulations and the river basin management plans.
“However, the success of this initiative will depend on a focused implementation and a commitment to work with farmers to reduce the penalties imposed, as well as provide an opportunity to close-out issues identified, rather than exclusively relying on enforcement. This, we believe, will keep money in farmers’ pockets, will have an enduring impact on improving water quality and create greater community engagement when addressing water and wider environmental challenges.”