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11 Aug 2022

‘Demonisation’ of agriculture and Limerick farmers needs to stop

‘Demonisation’ of agriculture and Limerick farmers needs to stop

“Farmers not the demons they are portrayed as” - Pat McCormack

IRISH farmers have a critical role to play in Ireland’s climate strategy, believes Pat McCormack.

“We need to move away from demonising the sector and start to put in place real plans to allow the sector to continue to do what it is good at, producing sustainable quality food contributing to EU and global food security and delivering on measures to reduce Ireland’s emissions,” said the ICMSA president.

He said that negative commentary regarding agriculture emissions in recent days has not been helpful and will do little to foster a partnership approach to our climate challenge which is needed if we are to meet our targets.

“Farmers are very angry at the aggressive approach being taken against our sector in recent days and some of these commentators need to inform themselves of the facts. For example, if every farmer in the country installed solar panels on their farms producing renewable carbon free energy, this would not be reflected in the 22% reduction figure, instead it would be allocated to the energy inventory.

“If every farmer planted 100 native trees that would sequester carbon and also contribute to biodiversity, this would not be reflected in the 22% reduction but would be allocated to the LULUCF sector. These are the realities of the climate inventory and if we are to maximise the potential of the farmer contribution to climate change, we need to move away from demonising the sector and actually put in place plans to maximise its potential and work with farmers in a positive fashion,” said Mr McCormack.

The ICMSA president said Irish farmers as food producers, are amongst the most sustainable in the world.

“Despite all the negative commentary in recent days, farmers are not the demons they are being portrayed as, they are making a significant contribution not just in agriculture but across other sectors and the Government at this stage needs to put its cards on the table in terms of supports so that farmers can contribute further in a positive and constructive manner,” concluded Mr McCormack.

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