Farm Walks in Ireland
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Ireland aims at having 5 % of the country’s agricultural land certified as organic in four years’ time, reports the Irish Times. So far, 41,000 hectares, only 0.9 % of the agricultural land in Ireland, are farmed organically, compared with 4.4 % in the UK. Most of the demand for organic food in the country is being met through importing produce. This shows the potential and need for Irish farmers to convert to organic production.
Teagasc, the agriculture and food development authority in the country, promotes the organic route for farmers in association with the Department of Agriculture. Over the summer, a series of farm walks on 21 organic farms is taking place. According to a Teagasc organic farming specialist, the aim of the walks is to show that organic farming is a great opportunity.
Trevor Sargent, the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, has recently announced an Organic Action Plan to increase the amount of organic land. The four main objectives are: increase production in Ireland in line with market requirements; increase the knowledge base in organic food and farming; develop the market for organic produce in Ireland and abroad, and encourage the development of public procurement opportunities for organic products.
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