Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Ceisteanna (175)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

175. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the implementation of action 92 proposed in the national mitigation plan, namely, the improvement of farm sustainability through GLAS and the origin green programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18153/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Work is on-going in the implementation of the National Mitigation Plan. Action 92 refers to the proposal to continue to improve farm sustainability through GLAS and the Origin Green Programme.

In relation to GLAS over 50,000 farmers joined GLAS, which has a range of actions to address climate change and reduce emissions.

Among the actions undertaken under the scheme are almost 5,000 farmers who have committed to the Low Emission Slurry Spreading techniques action within GLAS, with consequent reductions in CO2 and Ammonia. Approximately 2,400 farmers are planting 26,000 hectares of catch crops annually which prevents soil erosion and absorbs nutrients. A further approximately 300 farmers have signed up to Minimum Tillage which reduces damage to soil and the breakdown of soil structure.

To date under the Origin Green Programme, over 170,000 carbon assessments have been carried out across beef and dairy farms. While previous targets focused primarily on greenhouse gas emissions, a new more detailed individual Sustainability Report will be sent to farmers in 2018. Primary focus areas will include GHGs; Water Quality and Consumption; Animal Health and Welfare; Biodiversity; Soil Quality and Grassland Management; Farm Health and Safety; and General Farm Management.