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New digital platform aims to help farmers to track their emissions

December 19th, 2022 11:50 AM

By Southern Star Team

At the launch of Teagasc’s Climate Action Strategy were, from left: chairman of Meat Industry Ireland, Philip Carroll with Tim Cullinan, IFA president; Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue TD; Marie Donnelly, Climate Change Advisory Council; Pat Murphy, Dairy Industry Ireland and Dr Anne-Marie Butler, Teagasc.

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TEAGASC, ICBF and Bord Bia are collaborating to develop a digital sustainability platform to help farmers meet climate obligations.

This digital platform will allow farmers and advisors to benchmark current emissions on an individual farm and make a plan to take action to reduce these. ‘Know my Number – Make my Plan’ is the tagline for this initiative. This tool will be developed over time to include carbon sequestered on the farm as well as emissions.

This is one of three actions identified in the just-released Teagasc Climate Action Strategy 2022-2030 entitled Supporting Farmers for Climate Action.

Launched by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, he said the key to the agriculture sector meeting its climate ambitions is science-based and innovative science research.

‘This is the ace up our sleeve. Farm families have been on a journey towards lower carbon systems for some time. We are now stepping forward those ambitions and we stand full square behind them on this future journey,’ he said.

Outside of the sustainability digital platform, the other two pillars of the strategy are the already-established signpost advisory programme and the setting-up of a virtual national centre for agri-food climate research and innovation

‘We are mobilising collective resources of Teagasc, ICBF and Bord Bia to build a unique sustainability digital platform. We are doing this from a strong base building on existing strong platforms: the Signpost Programme, state-of-the-art facilities, committed and talented staff.’

The signpost programme was established in 2021, in collaboration with 120 signpost demonstration farmers and over 60 partner organisations, semi-states, industry, and farm organisations.

A new programme will aim to enrol 50,000 farmers in this free service to establish an action plan for each individual farm and bring about the change required on Irish farms.

The virtual centre will co-ordinate climate research and innovation programmes and accelerate efforts to bring ‘almost ready’ and ‘early stage’ technologies required for adoption at farm level to fruition.

This will provide a central independent focal point in Ireland for the co-ordination and dissemination of agricultural climate change research and innovation to all stakeholders, including wider society.

Teagasc director Prof Frank O’Mara said: ‘Our ambition is to deliver a world leading climate advisory service for farmers and an accelerated research programme to address emissions reduction and carbon offsetting.’

For more on the strategy see www.teagasc.ie/climateaction

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