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Agriculture, Food and the Marine | Ensuring viability of agri-food sector while meeting carbon reduction targets

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the extent to which he hopes to mitigate carbon reduction requirements by way of enhanced sequestration thereby ensuring the viability of the agri-food sector while at the same time meeting carbon reduction targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The Climate Action plan 2021 sets a separate target for the land use sector to reduce emissions by 51% by 2030. Measures set out by my Department to reach this target include enhanced sequestration measures such as improved management of grassland on mineral soils, cover crops, incorporation of straw and afforestation.

Recent initiatives supported through funding from my Department will provide much needed data on the emission profile of our farms and will inform policy decisions in this area to better support farmers in their efforts to sequester, store and protect carbon through better management decisions.

In particular, the establishment of the National Agricultural Soil Carbon Observatory with supporting technology for the measurement of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a range of different soil and farm types will place Ireland at the forefront of EU carbon sequestration research. This action is also supported through the roll out of a soil sampling scheme, measuring soil carbon across more than 7500 farms in its pilot phase. As you will appreciate, the knowledge gained from research and technological infrastructure establishment activities pursued through this Department will not only demonstrate the continued viability of our agri-food sector but it will also allow for the refinement of our reporting to the National Inventory further emphasising the sustainability of the agricultural sector.



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