Government announces roll-out of free assistance for 5,000 farmers to achieve better environmental outcomes
The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed announced the roll-out of an innovative collaboration between Government and industry delivering 30 new ‘Agricultural Sustainability Advisors’ to work with farmers across the country.
These advisors will oversee the implementation of a Programme aimed at encouraging sustainable farming, while meeting stringent water quality requirements on over 5,000 farms nationwide.
The initiative will support a free one-to-one sustainability advisory service to more than 5,000 farmers to encourage behavioral change, facilitate knowledge transfer and achieve better on-farm environmental outcomes.
Of the 30 new Agricultural Sustainability Advisors assigned to the programme, 20 are located in Teagasc while 10 who have undergone the same programme of training, will operate within the dairy processors' organisational structures.
Staff have been recruited and trained by the EPA and Teagasc and are now commencing their work programme.
The Agricultural Sustainability Support & Advisory Programme (ASSAP) arises from the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021.
The plan identified that agriculture is a significant pressure in over 50% of waters at risk of not meeting their ecological target of “good” status by 2027.
In accordance with the Water Framework Directive , this Plan sets out a comprehensive programmes of measures to enhance the quality of water in Ireland's rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters and groundwater.