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Achieving ambition

The Department is actively involved in supporting initiatives that contribute positively to the climate. The Department is committed to ensuring that the agriculture sector continues to grow sustainably so that Ireland can play its part in meeting the increasing global food demand while having regard to Ireland’s climate obligations.

Forestry

Beef Genomic Scheme

Animal Breeding

GLAS

Nitrogen Efficiency

Bioeconomy

Some achievements to date:

  • Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) participants and number of animals genotyped under the Programme.
  • 4,700 farmers committing to Low Emission Slurry Spreading techniques action within GLAS,
  • 2,600 farmers planting 26,000 ha catch crops
  • Carbon sequestration and biodiversity benefits from the planting of 1,300km of new hedges, 1,300 Traditional Orchards and 5,000 groves of native trees consisting of over 2 million native plants.
  • Almost 12,000 farmers have committed to excluding cattle from almost 17,000km of watercourses for the next 5 years.
  • Pasturebase Ireland (PBI) has now nearly 5000 users.
  • Research: DAFM recently announced support of €1.8 million for international research collaboration on sustainability and climate change. €17.1 million in funding has been committed under DAFM’s Research Funding Programmes for climate change related projects, launched in the 2010-2015 period,
  • Trained all advisers in the use of the Carbon Navigator through the ConnectED service.   Carbon Navigator training completed with approximately 30,000 Farmers
  • 11% of land in Ireland is under Forest, which results in over 750,000 hectares of Ireland is under forestry
  • 9,000km of Forest road infrastructure in place.

Irish agricultural production is recognised by international independent analysis as having one of the lowest carbon-footprints internationally.

 Added 14.03.2018

European Commission JRC Report

 

Employment

Employment in the agri-food sector accounted for 173,400 jobs on average in 2016, this accounted for 8.6% of total employment in Ireland in 2016.

Agriculture Factsheet

 

Forestry

The afforestation of 300,000 ha of agricultural land has taken place since 1990. Ireland has a target to expand forest cover from the current 11% of the land area of the country to 18% by 2050, with the majority of this expansion to be undertaken by farmers. To ensure the sustainability of this expansion, Ireland follows the principles of sustainable forest management and operates a robust regulatory system that covers the establishment, management, harvesting and regeneration of forests.

Afforestation is the main cost effective land based climate mitigation tool available to Ireland. The role afforestation and forests in general play in climate mitigation is threefold: the direct sequestration of carbon in the forest and resulting wood products, replacing energy intensive materials and providing sustainable renewable biomass to the energy sector.

Forestry Programmes 2014 - 2020

Forestry Measures included in National Mitigation Plan

Forestry Programme 2014-2020 mid-term review

 

Beef Genomic Scheme

The objectives of the scheme is to improve the genetic merit of the national beef herd through the collection of data and genotypes of selected animals which will allow for the application of genomic selection in the beef herd while lowing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions by improving the quality and efficiency of the national beef herd.

Beef Genomics Scheme

 

Animal Breeding

Economic Breeding Index (EBI) is single figure profit indexes aimed at helping farmers identify the most profitable bulls and cows for breeding dairy herd replacements.

Economic Breeding Index

 

GLAS

The Green Low Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) is a targeted agri-environment scheme. The objective of the scheme is to improve the rural environment by improving water quality, mitigating climate change and promoting biodiversity.

GLAS

 

Nitrogen Efficiency

Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme (NAP) is designed to prevent pollution of surface waters and ground water from agricultural sources and to protect and improve water quality. The quality of Irish water is among the best in Europe, agriculture is nevertheless a key pressure. The Teagasc Nutrient Management Planning (NMP) Online tool allows agri-professionals to produce high quality nutrient management plans for farmers by combining their expert knowledge of soil fertility with a range of information sources.

N Fertiliser Factsheet

NMP online

 

Bioeconomy

Ireland has numerous renewable biological resources with the potential for the creation of high value products. The bioeconomy uses these resources to produce food, feed, biomaterials, chemicals, pulp and paper, energy and fuels.

The circular economy and particularly the bioeconomy can provide opportunities for forest and agriculture residues such as from biomass, crops, animal and dairy by-products to be used to produce biomaterials and biochemicals through biorefining or to produce heat and/or power through combustion or anaerobic digestion.

Bioeconomy Discussion Document