Muir sets out priorities for economically and environmentally sustainable agri-food sector

Alliance DAERA Minister Andrew Muir MLA has outlined his vision for an economically and environmentally sustainable agri-food sector in Northern Ireland.

Andrew Muir daera

He was speaking to MLAs during an Oral statement in the Chamber yesterday (13 May) where he, for example, gave more details about the Farm Support Development Programme, which his Department is co-designing with people and businesses to target farm support to the bespoke needs of Northern Ireland.


Minister Muir has said: “My vision for the time ahead is to ensure both economic and environmental sustainability. The overall objective is to make our farming sector more sustainable by seeking to implement policies and strategies that also benefit our climate and environment, while supporting our incredibly significant agri-food sector.


“Such an environmentally sustainable agri-food industry is, for example, a key part of the jigsaw to improving water quality across Northern Ireland.”


Minister Muir also highlighted the key outcomes of the new Farm Support and Development Programme, stating: “My intention is to help secure environmental sustainability and greenhouse gas reduction, increased productivity, improved long-term resilience and an effective supply chain ensuring food security and high standards of disease control, public and animal health.


“Northern Ireland has a unique farm family structure. Farm families work hard to produce high quality food, working hand in hand with the natural environment. The actions of many generations of farmers and growers have also shaped the appearance of the landscape we all enjoy today, our natural environment, and the biodiversity that it supports.


“It is, therefore, fully deserving of the attention we must give it to ensure long-term sustainability, resilience and prosperity.


“It is clear however that there are challenges ahead for us all, and we must act now. Maintaining the status quo for any farm business is no longer a viable option. There is something within the Farm Support and Development Programme for every farm business to help ensure that together we transition to a more sustainable farming sector.”