Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
42. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the ongoing research projects being funded by his Department to address the challenges of climate change in the agricultural sector; the further assistance his Department plans to provide in progressing this research; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38548/21]
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine provides significant funding for public good research through a range of both national and trans-national competitive mechanisms that is directed at building the evidence-base and providing solutions aimed at the adaptation and mitigation of climate change across the agriculture sector.
Since 2019, over €8 million has been committed to support nine ongoing national and four trans-national research projects to develop the necessary tools, technologies and practices to reduce and mitigate methane emissions from ruminant livestock and facilitate Irish agriculture’s move to increased carbon removal and efficiency.
The Department will continue to provide financial support to these projects, pending successful periodic monitoring by my officials, for compliance with the provisions of the grant award contracts agreed with the various institutions that are undertaking the research. Among those provisions is a requirement to widely disseminate the findings of the research to all relevant stakeholders through a variety scientific and popular media outlets.
Looking forward, the Department will provide further assistance and grant awards through the national competitive research call launched in December 2020. A central theme of this Call was Climate with the objective to support climate-smart research to improve, integrate and develop novel agriculture systems which support national greenhouse gas (GHG) / ammonia adaptation and mitigation goals, including the production of food, bio-based fuels, products and services, healthy soil systems, water and air quality, ecology and biodiversity.
The results of this competitive call will be known later this year and it is likely that I will then be in a position to announce additional funding for new climate-related projects that will further build scientific capacity and capability for climate-science in agriculture. Of course, this competitively allocated funding is additional to the grant-in-aid allocations to Teagasc of €147m in 2021, much of which goes towards research and advisory activities related to climate sustainability.
It is crucial to continually stay abreast and ahead of the research in order to best secure our sector.