Farming for Water represents a real opportunity for agricultural sector

The new €60 million Farming for Water project which has been announced with the aim of supporting up to 15,000 farmers to improve water quality, represents a real opportunity for the agricultural sector to make a cost-free investment in the future.


Farming for Water represents a real opportunity for agricultural sector

The launch occurred on the farm of David and Roisin Fay on the shores on Lough Ennell

The Farming for Water project is a European Innovation Partnership (EIP), the largest one ever carried out in Ireland. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has allocated a budget of €50 million over five years, which will cover the support to be paid to the up to 15,000 farmers for the provision of rainwater management plans, earthen bunds and tree planting among a range of other measures designed to help improve water quality.


Farmers will be consulted by their ASSAP advisers and informed as to how best to approach the measures to be taken on their lands, before making the straight-forward application and availing of the grants.


Outside of the funding for farmers, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is contributing €10 million to cover the administrative and operational costs of this Farming for Water EIP, which will be allocated over five years, bringing the total budget for the project to €60 million.


An operational group for the project has been established by LAWPRO in partnership with Teagasc, Dairy Industry Ireland and Bord Bia, and with the support of other stakeholders, to work in partnership with farmers in the implementation of several actions at farm level.


Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue described the initiative as “an exciting project…focusing on improving water quality and everyone in the country. “The future of our farms, and the families on those farms, are largely dependent on successful water quality outcomes and I am absolutely confident farmers will not be found wanting in delivering those outcomes,” he added.


Also speaking at the launch of the project, Minister of State for land use and biodiversity Pippa Hackett called the project a “flagship” EIP.


Project collaborator Dairy Industry Ireland (DII) welcomed the project, saying it would be accessible to all farm types. Pat Sheahan, chair of DII, said: “This program, supplemented by additional industry funding and support, underscores our commitment to Ireland’s water quality objectives.


Anthony Coleman, Director of LAWPRO, representing the Operational Group told those gathered at the farm of David and Roisin Fay on the shores of Lough Ennell for the launch that the Farming for Water EIP represents a significant opportunity for us to engage and collaborate with the agricultural sector to deliver improvements in water quality throughout the country. We will be working hand-in-hand with farmers to introduce more nature-based solutions as well as supporting community organisations to work on delivery of water quality measures that will benefit our environment, economy and society. I am delighted that this project is now underway and we have a team in place who will work in conjunction with our partners Teagasc, ASSAP, Dairy Industry Ireland and other stakeholders,” he said.

Farmers interested in the project should liaise with their ASSAP advisers for further consideration.

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