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Minister of State Andrew Doyle opens Wexford Exhibition of locally-led agri-environment schemes

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D.,today opened an exhibition in the Department’s offices in Johnstown Castle in Wexford to showcase the 23 EIP/locally-led agri-envrionment schemes funded by his Department.  The exhibition is visiting DAFM locations around Ireland having started in Agriculture House in Dublin.  In total, DAFM Ireland is investing €59 million in these schemes over the lifetime of the RDP.

The Minister commented “The wide variety of projects funded by my Department under this EIP initiative is an investment in the passion of  Ireland’s agri sector and their efforts to enhance the environment. One of the important aspects of the whole EIP initiative is its place in the local community. By having locally-designed and led schemes it enables greater flexibility in responding to the particular environmental challenges in different areas.”

Today’s event also had a special focus on the locally-led schemes from the South-East region. Representatives attended from the Blackstairs Farming Futures EIP which aims to deliver innovative eco-system services within the Blackstairs Mountains of Counties Carlow and Wexford.   The National Biodiversity Data Centre explained how they will put measures in place to protect farmland pollinators.  The SUAS project in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains aims to address the complex challenges associated with the management of commonages and farms in the uplands, and the Duncannon Blue Flag Farming and Communities Scheme aims to contribute to the recovery and long term retention of the Blue Flag status at Duncannon Beach in Wexford.

The Minister added “these projects have a particular relevance as next week we mark National Biodiversity week. The 23 projects we are funding are some of the most innovative projects which will deliver real biodiversity enhancements right around the country”.

The exhibition highlights the varied works undertaken by the EIP Project groups including biodiversity, organic production, pollinators, water quality, flood management, soils, farming in an archaeological landscape and targeting unutilised agricultural biomass.

Following its display in Wexford it will be moving to other DAFM public offices around the country.

Note for Editors:

The European Innovation Partnerships Initiative (EIP) under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (RDP) is a new co-operation measure under Article 35(1) of the regulation. These locally led schemes promote local solutions to specific issues and involve the establishment of Operational Groups to develop ideas, or take existing ideas/research and put them into practice by being hands on in terms of working towards the resolution of a practical problem.   

21 projects were selected following two open calls. In addition there are two major projects under the EIP initiative for the conservation of endangered species – Hen Harrier and Pearl Mussel. The projects being focused on today are:

Blackstairs Farming Futures: Budget €1,500,000:  Objectives are to develop a new revenue stream for commonage farmers in Blackstairs Mountains, sustainable management of HNV farmland with a focus on habitat optimised for red grouse, develop and trial an effective commonage governance mode for Ireland to support cooperation within and between commonages and others to address current and future challenges.

Protecting Farming Pollinators: Budget €1,194,679:  Objectives are to test the effectiveness of a range of pollinator measures across farmland and identify those that have most impact and are most cost effective, develop a simple farm-scale scoring system  to quantify how pollinator-friendly a farm is.

Sustainable Uplands Agri-Environment Scheme (SUAS): Budget €1,950,000:  Establish new commonage groups to address the decline in the biodiversity of the uplands, the viability of the farmers who manage it, the socio-economic concerns of local communities, grow farmer and stakeholder knowledge and confidence to take greater ownership of the challenges.

Duncannon Blue Flag Farming and Communities Scheme: Budget €550,000:  Objectives are to recover and retain the blue flag status of Duncannon Beach by improving the bacterial quality of the two coastal streams that flow into the beach. To restore and enhance the quality of bathing and riverine waters, to develop an effective model for the future sustainable management of similar catchments, and to foster positive relations between farmers and householders

Minister of State Andrew Doyle opens Wexford Exhibition of  locally-led agri-environment schemes



Date Released: 16 May 2019