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Important Opportunities to Improve Competitiveness

by 5m Editor
29 July 2010, at 10:04am

IRELAND - Addressing the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Environment yesterday (Wednesday), IFA President John Bryan called on the Government to show their commitment to maximising the potential of the agri-food sector by eliminating all unnecessary and excessive obligations in the nitrates regulations.

Mr Bryan said, “Over €2.5 billion has been spent in improving farm yards and farm buildings to comply with the nitrates regulations. This is showing very positive results, with all EPA water monitoring sites conforming to nitrates water quality criteria. This is good news, which should for once and for all allow the Departments of Agriculture and Environment to make changes to the illogical calendar farming requirements.“

“It is essential for the survival of the pig and poultry sectors that the phosphorous provision is continued, until a workable solution is found. Teagasc have a pivotal role to play and must produce the necessary science.“

IFA also sought the continuation of the nitrates derogation for commercial dairy and beef farmers, the lifting of the ban on winter ploughing for the tillage sectors and a reduction in the available nitrogen levels in spent mushroom compost and farmyard manure.

Concluding, Mr Bryan said, "The 2020 Strategy contains achievable growth targets, but the potential of the sector will not be realised if we fail to address those aspects of the current Nitrates plan that are an obstacle to farming.“