“There must be no division in agriculture, where one group of farmers farms exclusively for nature and another exclusively for food production”
There should not be a split in Irish agriculture, with one cohort of farmers farming exclusively for nature and another farming exclusively for food production,” Minister of State Pippa Hackett told Seanad in recent days.
The Green Party minister said around two-thirds of Ireland’s land is farmland and it is vital that farmers play a central role in this whole-of-society conversation about how we can reverse biodiversity loss.
The minister also said it is crucial that members of the public attending the citizens’ assembly on biodiversity loss hear farmers’ voices.
“The simple reality is, if we’re going to turn the tide on the biodiversity crisis, we can only do so with the help of our farmers, who need to be in the room to contribute to the conversation about how best to do that,” she said.
However, Minster Hackett also said that biodiversity does not recognize boundaries or field boundaries, land parcels or herd numbers.
“It is therefore important to introduce farming practices that support biodiversity throughout the farm. A holistic approach should not limit biodiversity to a small strip or corner of a field.
“Neither should we go down the path of a split in agriculture, with one cohort of farmers farming solely for nature and another farming solely for food production. They have to go hand in hand. Applying practices that allow biodiversity to thrive in our landscape and on all fields and on all farms is the journey we must take,” she said.
Secretary Hackett also highlighted the benefits she has seen from organic farming on her own farm, saying “we know the biodiversity benefits that come with organic farming”.
“We simply cannot afford a two-pronged approach where only certain cohorts of farmers are incentivized to farm for nature. If we are to tackle the biodiversity crisis, we need to take all farmers with us as we move to an agricultural model that works for biodiversity rather than against it,” she said.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/forestry-enviro/environment/there-cannot-be-a-split-in-agriculture-where-one-cohort-of-farmers-farm-exclusively-for-nature-and-another-exclusively-for-food-production-41781583.html “There must be no division in agriculture, where one group of farmers farms exclusively for nature and another exclusively for food production”