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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Oct 2019 right left

 

9th IUCN UK Peatland Programme Conference – Peatlands: Investing in the Future

Tuesday 1st October
The Europa Hotel, Belfast
See website for details

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Comber Greenway Task Day

Saturday 5th October
Billy Neill crossing at 9am, Dundonald or on the greenway under North Road bridge at 9.30am, East Belfast
Free

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NILGA Changing Places: Planning, Place–shaping and Place–making in NI

Tuesday 8th October
Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen
£60

Northern Ireland Energy Forum 2019

Tuesday 8th October
La Mon, Belfast
See website for details

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Citigroup Environmental Expo

Thursday 10th October
Citigroup, Titanic Quarter, Belfast
Free

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Grass Roots AGM

Saturday 12th October
Newtownbreda Presbyterian Church Hall, Ormeau Road, Belfast
Free

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CEDaR Training Course – Woodlice

Saturday 19th October
Crawfordsburn Country Park
Free

Maintaining a Young Hedge

Sunday 20th October
Kilmacrew House near Banbridge
Free

The Future of Food Packaging

Monday 21st October
CAFRE Loughry Campus, Cookstown BT80 9AA
Free

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Inaugural QUB Sustainability Lecture

Wednesday 23rd October
Peter Froggatt Centre/0G/007, Queen’s University Belfast
Free

Water Framework Directive Stakeholder Conference 2019

Wednesday 23rd October
College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Greenmount Campus, 45 Tirgracy Road, Antrim BT41 4PS
Free

CEDaR Training Course – Grassland Fungi

Thursday 24th October
Magilligan Field Centre

Enough is Enough – The Rise and Rise of Food Poverty

Friday 25th October
TBC, Belfast
Free

Scarecrow Festival

Saturday 26th October
Castleward
Normal Admission

Hidden Autumn Estate

Saturday 26th October
Crom
Adult £15

Spooky Springhill

Sunday 27th October
Springhill Moneymore
Normal Admission. NT Members and under 5’s free.

Valuing Nature Annual Conference 2019

Monday 28th October
Royal Society, London
Free

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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.