New National Agricultural Sustainability Research and Innovation Centre announced
A new National Agricultural Sustainability Research and Innovation Centre (NASRIC) is to be established at Teagasc Johnstown Castle. Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD has announced that DAFM are providing Teagasc with the required funding (€9m) to immediately commence construction of a new National Agricultural Sustainability Research and Innovation Centre (NASRIC).
This new Centre will expand and enhance the current Teagasc Research and Innovation activities at the Teagasc Environment Research Centre in Johnstown Castle, County Wexford.
Speaking during a recent visit to Johnstown Castle, Minister McConalogue said; “The Government is committed to assisting Irish agriculture adapt to the numerous challenges facing farmers and agriculture and I’m delighted to announce this major investment in new research facilities to explore future technical solutions to enable the sector enhance its environmental sustainability.
“The investment is a clear show of strength in my commitment to agriculture research. I am convinced that as we face into a decade of change for our great sector that the cornerstone of our development will be cutting edge research. This, in turn, will provide farmers with all the tools, analysis and information to make informed decisions for their own businesses. Teagasc continues to play a leading role in the area and I commend them for their pioneering and innovative work.”
The Centre will focus on the development, testing and implementation of innovative technologies to facilitate farmers to combine economic and environmental sustainability. NASRIC will provide practical integrated solutions for farmers and other stakeholders to improve soil health, restore and protect biodiversity, improve water quality, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and ammonia and enhance soil carbon sequestration.
Director of Teagasc, Professor Frank O Mara said; “The Centre will provide technical support to policy makers and the wider agri-food and land-use sectors to achieve sustainability targets. The Centre will accommodate up to 85 staff, consisting of research scientists, technical and support staff, to undertake the research necessary to underpin the sustainability of the sector."
The laboratories are being equipped with cutting edge instrumentation across the areas of soil, crop, water and gaseous emissions. The research programme utilises a range of state of the art field facilities including dairy, beef, forestry and agro-forestry research trials and component facilities including long term soil fertility experiments, the national lysimeter platform and climate change control rooms. Research is carried out at larger scales via the Agricultural Catchments Programme, the National Soil Carbon Observatory and the national soil archive and database which are needed to upscale research.
This significant capital programme will establish world class laboratories to house the current analytical research facilities. The investment will facilitate the increasing expansion of the Teagasc environment research programme to deliver the evidence base to support strategic national commitments to increase the sustainability of agricultural systems.