Funding extension secured for Catchments programme
Funding is to be provided for another four-year period for the Agricultural Catchments Programme run by Teagasc.
The announcement was made last week by the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.
The programme, which was initially launched in 2008 and was based on a partnership with farmers and other stakeholders, aims to support productive agriculture while protecting water quality.
It was established to provide the necessary scientific evidence base to underpin Irish agricultural policy in the context of obligations under the EU Nitrates Directive and the EU Water Framework Directive.
The programme integrates advice and research and operates in small river catchments of between 500 and 2,900ha.
The Minister paid tribute to the team of Teagasc researchers and advisers who are working on the programme and he acknowledged the invaluable contribution made by more than 300 farmers who are voluntarily participating in six monitor catchments established across the country.
"The new scientific knowledge being generated by the Agricultural Catchments Programme will be critical to the sustainable expansion of Irish milk and meat production from grass and therefore will be critical to achieving the ambitious growth targets of Food Harvest 2020," Minister Coveney said.
The Minister was speaking at the launch last weekend of a three-day International Conference in Dublin entitled 'Catchment Science 2011'.