Local and National Policymakers, Teagasc, NUIG, GMIT
Help shift to a sustainable food system by undertaking research in various areas such as:
– the productive use of difficult, marginal land as well as urban gardening.
– the development of climate change resilient crops and food production methods. For example, wheat is susceptible to moulds and fungal disease in damp climate. Research is needed on alternative grains such as spelt. There may also be, in a warmer climate, some opportunities to grow new crops that were previously unsuitable.
– the use of human sewerage on productive land. Human waste contains high amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus but needs to be safely and hygienically collected and applied. Urine could be collected widely using separating toilets etc.
– the local cultivation of exotic fruit and vegetables so as to avoid unnecessary international importation and associated food miles. Many foodstuffs currently imported could be grown locally in glasshouses and polytunnels (for example bananas).
– Research into diets and meat types.
– Grain for human consumption, not feeding cattle.
– Disease, invasive species etc.
– Teagasc’s Irish Soil Information System project has developed a national association soil map for Ireland together with an associated digital soil information system, providing both spatial and quantitative information on soil types and properties across the country.
Teagasc (The agriculture and food development authority in Ireland), Athenry, Co. Galway