New technologies are changing the shape of the agricultural industry across the globe, with Ireland at the forefront of this change. The lack of skilled labour within the agricultural sector is driving the need to find new and innovative ways to make our work practices easier and less time consuming.
Under the current Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS), we have recognised the need to encourage the uptake of these innovations by providing funding across a number of new technologies. Funding for items such as GPS precision application systems for grassland and tillage crops, grant aided grass measuring equipment and financial support for the replacement of old technologies with new energy efficient equipment have all been included in the latest round of TAMS funding. Proto-type electric tractors remain under development and are not commercially available at present.
The recently published All-of-Government Climate Action Plan to tackle climate breakdown also includes a series of measures to lower greenhouse gas emissions from transport. I am fully supportive of this plan and the actions within it. I will continue to work with my colleagues across Government to ensure successful implementation of the plan. I am also confident that the agriculture sector as a whole will contribute significantly to Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy and society with collaboration, co-operation and collective responsibility being key in achieving this ambition and realising the potential of pro-active engagement.