The future direction of farming support in Northern Ireland has taken a step forward as Agriculture Minister, Edwin Poots MLA, publishes a Future Agricultural Policy Framework Portfolio for Northern Ireland.
Publishing the Future Agricultural Policy Framework Portfolio Minister Poots said: “Farming has changed significantly over the past 100 years, with changing methods and investment in technologies across differing sectors. It is therefore very apt in this Centenary Year that we embark upon the development of farming support policies which target actions to meet our local priorities and needs much more effectively for the foreseeable future.
“Business as usual for many farms will not be an option. The future is about delivering both food and environmental outcomes in a sustainable way. Our farmers are up for the challenge and, indeed, many have already invested in green technology and embraced environmentally-friendly farming practices.
“My ultimate aim is to ensure that Northern Ireland takes full advantage of the opportunity to develop a sustainable agricultural industry in which all farmers are able to make best use of the assets at their disposal and build a legacy of which they can be proud. This will be underpinned by a set of bespoke measures that will ensure the delivery of productive, profitable, environmentally sustainable, resilient and supply chain focused outcomes tailored for Northern Ireland.
“All stakeholders with an interest in food production and land use must be involved in the co-design of new measures and interventions. This will ensure that we have the right measures to boost efficiency and resilience whilst enabling a decrease in the agri-food industry’s environmental footprint and creating the means to enhance our natural assets and address climate change. Our food producers should have confidence in their future whilst delivering multiple public benefits.
“A healthy and resilient natural world underpins economic prosperity and I will seek the co-operation of others to work with us in developing policies which set a new direction for agriculture and which maximise the benefits for people who live and work here. I want sustainability to be at the heart of everything we do in DAERA, taking a partnership approach with businesses and communities, enabling them to look after the environment, being its custodian for future generations and creating wealth.
“This Framework will form the basis of ongoing discussions with industry and stakeholders as my officials develop policy proposals, on which I intend to consult in the autumn. I look forward to engaging with all those in the farming industry as we move forward with my vision for its future.”
Notes to editors:
The Future Agricultural Policy Framework Portfolio sets out an agricultural policy framework for Northern Ireland, taking into account the views of key food, farming and environmental stakeholders from an engagement exercise undertaken in 2018. That exercise focussed on a vision for future agriculture in Northern Ireland defined around four desired outcomes: increased productivity, improved resilience, environmental sustainability and a responsive supply chain.
A public consultation on policy proposals will commence in autumn 2021.
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