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Minister Creed Announces Continuation of Agricultural Catchments Programme

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today announced the continuation of the Agricultural Catchments Programme (ACP) for a further four year period to 2023.

Minister Creed said “The Agricultural Catchments Programme is an intensive monitoring programme of farming impacts on water quality and is vital for this Department to assist in meeting our requirements under the Water Framework Directive².. The Agricultural Catchment Programme is also crucial in the context of future reviews of our Nitrates action programme and continued success in securing Ireland’s Nitrates Derogation.”

The Agricultural Catchments Programme is in place since 2008 and is used to evaluate the impact of Irelands Nitrates Action Programme (NAP) and the Nitrates Derogation which are implemented under the Nitrates Directive¹. This Programme and has been funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and has been delivered by Teagasc since its inception.

EU Member States are required to monitor the effectiveness of their Nitrates Regulations, under Article 5 (6) of the EU Nitrates Directive¹. Under the GAP Regulations³, DAFM has been monitoring the effectiveness of Ireland’s measures since 2008 through its significant funding of the Teagasc operated Agricultural Catchments Programme.

Following three successful phases of the ACP, Phase 4 of the programme will now also collect data on greenhouse gases emissions, ammonia emissions and soil carbon sequestration, as well as extending the current baseline monitoring of water quality.  These new developments will significantly enhance the monitoring of impacts of agriculture on our environment and aid the Department achieve our targets under the Climate Action Plan.