The government has confirmed that it has set the emissions ceiling for the agricultural sector at a level requiring a 25% reduction target by 2030.
Farm organisations and some public representatives have reacted angrily to the move, with many warning that it will lead to a cull of the national herd.
Farmers across the country are now “rightly worried” about what this means for the future, as ICMSA leader, Pat McCormack pointed out.
25% emissions reduction target
That’s Farming asked its readers to share their thoughts and opinions on the matter.
According to Maurice P O Connell, “this is the death knell of agriculture in this country, and it will never again recover”.
“The price of food will go through the roof, and thousands of jobs will be lost here.”
Brian Masterson believes that “the Greens will not be happy until we are not exporting anything”.
Meanwhile, Justin Coghlan asked: “Where is the cut for air travel?” “It would take a lot of cows to make up the emissions one plane puts out”.
Seamus Ward expressed: “Let’s not put a tooth in it. What TDs have decided on (25%) is much bigger than emissions.”
“Make no mistake that they are deciding on the future of Irish agriculture and food production.”
“To all the rural ministers and TDs, you are the ones who are running out of time. 2025 will come before 2030,” he added.
Fewer stock & more for end product
Owen Murphy is of the view that intensive dairy farming is the biggest contributor to our “drastic” decline in water quality.
He stated that it has resulted in a lot of habitat loss because of land reclamation.
“I do not expect any farmer or landowner to take a dramatic cut in their income and the standard of living.”
“But the agricultural sector has to become proactive. Many people would pay more for milk/cheese produced in a manner which does not see excessive stocking densities and the heavy reliance on artificial fertiliser and slurry. Keep fewer stock but get more for the end product has to be the aim, in my opinion.”
Brenda Donagher said, “farming is the low-lying fruit in this debate”.
“We are paying a hard price for the state selling other natural resources. It is disgraceful how self-sufficient this country once was, but now greed again will destroy agriculture. Farmers have the support of the people.”
“Say no to more livelihoods being lost. Do not sell out; we see what has happened in housing when it was sold out. Privatisation is destroying people,” she concluded.