Minister Pippa Hackett has called on farmers to embrace new ways of thinking.
During her address to the Seanad earlier this morning (Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022), she spoke about springtime and the Celtic festival of Imbolc.
“With calving and lambing underway, the lengthening of the days, and evidence of new growth, Imbolc is also about the seeds of new ideas,” she said.
“We are one of the world’s top agricultural producers. Yet, we have one of the lowest rates of organic production in Europe.”
“Organic farming is still a new idea to many. So, if you are a farmer, please consider it because organic farming will be a big part of our future.”
Minister Hackett is reopening the Organic Farming Scheme with an additional €5m this year.
Furthermore, this week, she will launch an MA in Organic and Biological Agriculture at Waterford Institute of Technology. As That’s Farming previously reported, the programme aims to upskill farmers and growers in organic agriculture practices.
“This is an important step, not only for climate action, biodiversity, and water quality but also for soil health. Our soil holds the key to many of the problems we face, and we need to nurture it,” she said.
“Brigid is well recognised as a patron of all things nature and agriculture, so I’d like to pay tribute to all the women in agriculture and science, who work so hard, in sectors dominated by men,” she said.
“I would particularly like to applaud two young scientists – granddaughters of farmers – who presented a project on milk quality at the BT Young Scientist exhibition recently.”
Caoimhe O’Grady and Clodagh McGauran from Navan compared the quality and yield of milk produced from mixed-species sward to that coming from a ryegrass sward.
“This is a topic close to my own heart, and the results were encouraging,” Minister Pippa Hackett concluded.