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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Feb 2019 right left

    
01

Snowdrop Walks

Saturday 2nd February
The Argory Moy
Normal Admission

Woodland Management – Saintfield Estate

Sunday 3rd February
Saintfield Estate
N/A

04
05
06

Public Money for Public Goods – Benefits for farmers, rural communities and the environment

Thursday 7th February
Seamus Heaney Centre, 45 Main Street, Bellaghy BT45 8HT
Free

08
09
10
11
12

Tackling Food Waste: Protecting the Environment and Helping Society

Wednesday 13th February
De Vere Holborn Bars, 138–142 Holborn, London
See website for details

14
15

Nest Fest

Saturday 16th February
Springhill, Moneymore
Normal Admission

Path & Hedge Maintenance

Sunday 17th February
Bog Meadows Nature Reserve, Belfast
N/A

18
19

CEDaR Recorders Days – Belfast

Wednesday 20th February
Ulster Museum, Belfast
Free

21

Dry Stone Walling

Friday 22nd February
Drumnaph Nature Reserve
Free (lunch provided)

Evening Social Event in Belfast

Saturday 23rd February
Belfast
N/A

24
25

Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme (CEVAS) Training (Therapeutic route)

Tuesday 26th February
Bradkeel Social Farm, Plumbridge, County Tyrone BT79 8BN 307
£240 inc VAT

27

Irish Conference 2019 Wading into Water: The Assessment and Management of our Aquatic Environment

Thursday 28th February
Radisson Blu, Athlone
CIEEM Member (Fellow, Full, Associate, Graduate) £125.00 CIEEM member (Qual or Retd) £75.00 CIEEM Student Member £30.00 Non Member Ticket £175.00 Student (not a CIEEM member) £50.00

BITC Charity Learning Network

Thursday 28th February
Arthur Cox, Victoria House, 15–17 Gloucester St, Belfast
£295 + VAT

  

Agriculture

Agriculture has shaped much of the landscape of rural Northern Ireland, occupying approximately 73.9% of the total land area producing food and a range of public goods on which the people of Northern Ireland depend.

Agriculture

Agricultural land can provide multiple benefits to society and how we use such land can play a pivotal role in climate change mitigation and adaptation, halting biodiversity loss, flood reduction, supporting productive agriculture and shaping places where people want to live and work.

In April 2013, the Agri–Food Strategy Board produced ‘Going for Growth’, a strategic action plan for growth in the sector up to 2020. The strategy is very ambitious in terms of projected growth in employment (15%) and sales (60% overall, with 75% of sales outside Northern Ireland). These ambitious growth plans present a major risk to the environment and must be matched with an equal desire for environmental sustainability.

In recent decades the CAP has pushed farming in an unsustainable direction. Agricultural intensification has resulted in unintended consequences for the environment such as declines in wildlife, problems with water quality and a reduction in soil quality, all of which form the productive base of agriculture.

However, agriculture can be part of the solution, which is evidenced through the role farmers and land managers play in the maintenance of landscapes and delivery of current agri–environment schemes.  The CAP has not been effective at meeting one of its key outcomes of helping to build a resilient agricultural industry. In NI 87% of farm income is derived from EU subsidies– compared with 53% for the UK. Without financial support most farming in NI is uneconomically viable. This has been brought into stark relief by the risks posed to future agriculture support and the implications for farming as a result of the UK’s decision to the leave the EU.

 

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Agricultural policy costs €57.7billion annually – 40% of the EU budget.

The water footprint of agricultural products contributes by far the largest fraction of the total water footprint of EU27+1.

Over the last 10 years, employment in farming has dropped by 25% with an overall loss of 3.7 million jobs.

Annually 90 million tonnes of food, or 179kg per person, or 50% of all edible and healthy food is wasted in EU households, supermarkets, restaurants and along the food supply chain.

The cost of soil degradation is estimated at €38billion annually.

20% of all private sector employment in Northern Ireland is in the Agri–Food sector.

The farming and processing industries contribute around £1billion per annum of value added to the local economy.

Farm numbers and incomes have been declining in real terms for the past 28 years, while Northern Ireland’s primary agricultural outputs are livestock and dairy products, for both local consumption and export.

Arable production has continued to decline since 1981. Potatoes, apples and mushrooms are the main crops for human use, with wheat, arable crop silage and other crops increasing in recent years.

10% of Northern Ireland is woodland. 0.75% of NI is ancient woodland.