Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action
Reduction of Carbon Emissions of 51% by 2030: Discussion (Resumed)
I thank Mr. Fitzgerald. Before I go around for a second round of questions, I might take the opportunity to build on the question asked by Deputy Cronin, which is an interesting one. The three witnesses have given comprehensive answers to that question. We are getting somewhere interesting. I am certainly not an expert on agriculture, far from it indeed, but the fundamental question I want to ask is whether organic farming is the way forward for Irish farming. Deputy Cronin got there before me. I will stick with that issue for a few minutes. I take the points about labour that Mr. Keane and Mr. Fitzgerald have made and, with those in mind, I might direct the question to Dr. Moore. Labour is a serious concern. It seems to me that the availability of labour is linked to the cost of labour and the reward associated with it. It seems to come back to the idea that farmers who are involved in organic farming should get a better payment and there should be more money for those who get into it. That would surely attract more people into the sector but perhaps that is a simplistic take on the issue. I am interested to hear Dr. Moore's comments because this piece about rural regeneration is key. I acknowledge Macra na Feirme's report from a few weeks ago in which it looked into the matter in great detail. I will put that question to Dr. Moore first and will then return to the representatives of Macra na Feirme.