Agriculture and climate change

 

Sir, – I take issue with Michael Hamell on the FoodWise 2025 report (Letters, July 8th). Our agricultural sector is grossly underdeveloped and has enormous potential to expand and add to the economic well-being of our country.

This is surely a legitimate aspiration for an island nation trying to recover from a devastating financial and economic implosion.

Our contribution to climate change mitigation is already significant and significantly ahead of many of our peers, most especially in terms of research and applied knowledge towards ensuring that our food production is as environmentally sustainable as is possible.

To imply that increased food production under Irish conditions is incompatible with climate change mitigation requirements is to deny the need for greatly increased food production across the globe to feed a growing population. Let them eat grains! Who are we in the well-fed West to tell others what they can or cannot aspire to consume? Even if we all turned vegetarian, the inversion of soils, the use of massive amounts of carbon-based fuels and diminishing mineral resources would continue and increase in areas of the globe where responsible attitudes towards climate change are far lower than in Ireland and the EU. Surely it is better to apply science and common sense to find solutions to the twin aspirations of saving the planet and feeding the world rather than implying that there is an inherent incompatibility in wanting to do both. – Yours, etc,

MATT O’ KEEFFE

Editor, Irish Farmers

Monthly,

Clara,

Co Kilkenny.