The Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine published its ‘Report on Climate Change and Sustainability in the Agriculture and Food Sectors in July-2018.
The report makes 35 recommendations that identify potential policy solutions for climate change challenges, representing farming, sectoral, marine and environmental sectors.
Committee Chairperson – Pat Deering TD said: Farmers can play a vital role in tackling climate change but measures should be put in place to ensure that their livelihoods are not negatively impacted by evolving farming practices.”
Energy crops in Ireland
This report - coupled with its previous publication entitled ‘Future of the Tillage Sector in Ireland’ - explores the growth of energy crops in Ireland.
Energy crops can be used to generate electricity and produce three types of fuel including solid; gas and liquid biomass.
“The stability and guaranteed income levels which can be obtained from energy crops cannot be dismissed. There is no challenge in terms of capacity to produce energy crops, rather, the challenge is demand based.” The report reads.
Eucalyptus; willow; and miscanthus are generally viewed as the primary crops for the production of biomass in Ireland.
Energy crops are grown at a low cow, with minimum input and their energy content is utilised to generate electricity or heat.
Bord na Mona is seeking to encourage Irish farmers to produce energy crops to supply its three power stations.