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Supporting Farmers to deliver Sustainable Food Systems

The appetite at farm-level is strong to deliver a sustainable future food system, and farmers are taking ownership and looking for solutions, according to Dr Stan Lalor, Director of Knowledge Transfer with Teagasc.

The help and support needed includes; appropriate policy and regulation; appropriate reward and incentives; and clarity of a road map for success coupled to reassurance and confidence in the journey.

Dr Lalor was participating in a panel discussion on ‘Action at farm level to deliver a sustainable future food system’ at the Agricultural Science Association annual conference yesterday, Thursday, 7 September, in Naas, County Kildare.

He said; “Sustainability continues to be a holistic challenge that fundamentally boils down to the long-term security of food supply, and the viability of the production systems that we need to produce it, both currently, and into the future. We continue to focus on the three key pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environmental, all of which are vital. “

The environmental agenda is certainly high priority at present and the agriculture sector and the consumers are asking farmers to do a lot. Farmers need support in their decision making and implementation of the technologies that will provide solutions.

Dr Lalor continued; “Each farm faces an individual challenge based on their own individual circumstances. They need support to take the right actions in the right place that are right for that farm, and that farm family. Teagasc are setting out to provide on an ongoing basis through advisory, education and knowledge transfer programmes, and specifically within the new Signpost Advisory Programme, enabled by the development of the new AgNav platform, to help farmers engage with the details and the actions most appropriate to their own farms.”