'Farmers must break the habits of a lifetime to face climate change challenge'

Richard Bruton (Niall Carson/PA)
Richard Bruton (Niall Carson/PA)
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Farmers must break the habits of a lifetime in order to face climate change challenge, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment told farmers.

Speaking at the IFA Smart Farming environment event in Cuffesgrange, Co Kilkenny, Mr Bruton urged farmers not to put off making changes to how they farm and that radical changes will have to be made if the sector wants to achieve its 2030 climate targets.

“The challenge is we have to break the habits of a lifetime, we did grow up being very used to fossil fuels and how they made our world much easier. We are going to have to learn afresh, new ways,” Minister Bruton told farmers.

“We are going to have to really make a radical change. We need to make sure our farms and homes are resilient to the change,The longer you put off the adoption of new methods the harder it will be in the long term.

Meanwhile IFA President Joe Healy said that farmers are playing their part and willing to do more for the environment but said it was “is galling to Irish farmers to see food imported into the EU from Brazil, which is wilfully decimating the Amazon rainforest to make way for intensively produced, untraceable beef.”

It would be illegal for any Irish farmer to farm on these terms, yet Irish beef farmers, who are on their knees, are losing out to Brazilian beef as we speak. This cannot continue,” said Mr Healy.

“The Government and EU cannot continue to speak out of both sides of their mouth, asking European farmers to do more with less, while at the same time potentially reducing the CAP Budget and signing deals with Brazil. Meeting our climate target is achievable, but only if real, credible leadership is provided.

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