Time for Action
The industry is now moving from the stage of setting targets, and developing plans through the Food Vision Dairy and Beef and Sheep Groups, to implementation. The challenge for Teagasc is clear. New technologies will be required to reach the 25% reduction target, so research into promising new technologies must be accelerated.
Farmers must be provided with additional direct advisory and education support to increase adoption of the technologies that are currently available and proven, and the new ones that will emerge from ongoing research. This will need to be supported by informative decision support tools and reliable data sets.
Teagasc is a key actor in this space, and this strategy sets out how it will maximise the contribution of its research, advisory and education programmes to achieving the national targets. Actions will need to be delivered in a closely co-ordinated way with industry and government. Early action will be key to the delivery of the national targets as we move towards 2030.
The vision for a new Sustainable Irish Food System, as set out in Food Vision 2030, provides the framework for the development of the sector over the next decade as it aims to balance economic, social and environmental sustainability under a holistic Food Systems approach.
Within the rural economy, agriculture and food production will continue to be the anchor point for rural based enterprise, producing high quality food, including organic food, with minimal impact on the environment.
Alternative agricultural land uses will also emerge, as will markets for managing and storing carbon. Ireland’s comparative advantage in the production of grass will continue to underpin the sustainable production of meat and dairy products, but will also supply feed stocks for the production of bioenergy and other new food and non-food products from the Irish circular bio-economy.