I welcome the opportunity to update the house on the development of the CAP Strategic Plan and how it can contribute to the delivery of greenhouse gas reductions across all farms.
Department officials and I have been consulting and working closely with stakeholders, other government departments and agencies, and technical experts over the past year to ensure that the interventions proposed in the new CAP Strategic Plan plan will maximise greenhouse gas emissions, protect the environment, and enhance biodiversity and water quality.
In particular, the new eco-scheme will provide an opportunity for all farmers to participate. Other measures proposed include a National Agri-Environment Scheme, Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme, Organic Farming Scheme, Protein Aid Scheme and on-farm investments supporting the achievement of environment targets. These will assist in meeting the targets outlined for a climate-neutral food system by 2050, by reducing biogenic methane levels, reducing ammonia emissions, reducing nutrient losses to water, prioritising biodiversity on farmed area and increasing the area of agricultural land farmed organically.
I will also shortly launch a public consultation on the draft interventions proposed and will be engaging with stakeholders across the country to hear their views. I continue to engage with stakeholders, other Government Departments and State Agencies to design these interventions to ensure they give quantifiable benefits and contribute to achieving optimal greenhouse gas emission reductions across all farms.