It is now time to recognise the small and medium farmers who form the backbone of Irish rural life. They are the most important in our efforts to save our natural environment, transform our rural economy and safeguard our future.
Living on a farm I recognise the expertise offered by farmers as vital if we are to make the necessary transition to a green economy. Providing financial support for the restoration of hedgerows, planting of native woodland and encouragement of biodiversity will twofold tackle the impending climate emergency and face the challenge of enforced herd size reduction.
We have carbon sinks locked in our hedgerows, woodlands and grasses and the farmers need to be recognised and supported for doing this. We need to see that they are the custodians of the land and deserve to be paid for the work that they can do to preserve our carbon.
My platform hinges on increasing revenue for small farmers by facilitating greater access to a share of markets for their meat and dairy, legislating for the development of large scale community-owned renewable energy and providing for better support in the development of on-farm opportunities in the tourism sector.
Main focuses on farming:
- A shift away from an industry-led model to one which adopts Irish farmers as equitable partners and allows them a greater share of the profits generated from their world-class meat and dairy produce.
- Implementing legislative, legal and financial mechanisms to facilitate lease agreements between farmers that assist young farmers to enter the sector while nurturing and protecting family farms.
- Support the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy to reward farmers for sequestering carbon, restoring biodiversity and producing clean energy.
- Provision of better support for the development of on-farm opportunities in the tourism sector.
- Creation of publicly-owned community markets, which will showcase local produce and provide direct revenue for local farmers and food producers.
- Introduction of legislation that will allow rural communities to develop and receive income from large scale renewable energy projects.
Jason Horner, Farmer of Leen Organics, says “Róisín understands and cares about the future of farming in Clare. She advocates for farmers to be paid for public goods. Róisín also supports the Green Party policies to maintain clean water, encourage biodiversity, protects habitats and its birdlife as well as maintaining landscapes like the Burren Life programme.”