MACRA na Feirme believes that young farmers are key in tackling agricultural sector emissions reduction targets.
Young farmers right across the country have already demonstrated a willingness to engage in measures that both reduce emissions and improve on-farm viability.
From improving the genetic merit of both the dairy and beef herds to using technologies to monitor animal behavior to better understand emissions, Ireland’s young farmers are ready to be world leaders in continuing to improve agriculture’s emissions profile.
The recent Climate Action Bill noted the importance of agriculture in sequestering and storing CO2, providing an opportunity for Irish farmers to get recognition for on-farm practices that can have a major impact in reducing the sector’s emissions.
“Agriculture is uniquely placed to sequester and store CO2 and policies must ensure that this sequestering and storage is attributed to farmers and agriculture” said Macra na Feirme National President John Keane.
Young farmers are essential in driving on farm change and adoption of new technologies to reduce emissions, but it must also be realized that these very same champions of climate change mitigation need to be provided with a future in which they can grow and thrive in.
It is clear from the IPCC report that the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation are two key drivers of increasing global CO2 emissions. The government must now look to maximize Ireland’s potential in continuing to grow our sustainability credentials while also supporting growth in our sector which on a global level is a leader.
It is also clear that global food production must be focused in areas where farmers are most efficient and sustainable. Irish family farms at every crossroads in rural Ireland are perfectly positioned to meet the growing global demand for food while also reducing emissions and ensuring the long-term survival of our planet.