Climate-smart farming 'holds key to future of Irish agriculture'
Better use of land and fertiliser could make Ireland a world leader in climate smart agriculture.
Some 300 national and international experts including NGOs, governments, agri-business researchers and farmers, say going greener could benefit the agri-food sector.
However Government plans to boost exports under the Food Harvest 2020 strategy will make meeting our climate change obligations difficult.
But a survey from the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) and the RDS says investment in research and development, better use of fertiliser and optimising land use are key to climate-smart farming.
Some 87pc of respondents said the best strategy involved "economically and environmentally optimising our land resources across the beef, tillage and forestry sectors".
This would allow exports to increase, while attempting to limit the environmental damage that can arise from intensive farming practices.
However, researchers found no clear global leader in the area, suggesting an opportunity for the State.