Farming is a carbon and energy intensive activity. To reduce its environmental impact, the EPA and the Irish Farmers’ Association created a voluntary farming sustainability programme, Smart Farming.
Smart Farming provides guidance and on-farm advice on the practical actions farmers can take to save money and improve the environment.
Smart Farming is a voluntary sustainability programme led by the Irish Farmers Association in partnership with the EPA.
Smart Farming focuses on eight areas that have the best potential to both save costs and improve the environment, including:
Farmers taking the Smart Farming challenge get free cost-saving studies. An advisor visits their farm and works with them to find ways to save money and take practical actions to improve resource management.
Farms taking the challenge in 2020 identified the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by on average 9% and save on average €5,600.
The Smart Farming programme is a voluntary resource efficiency programme, delivered by the Irish Farmers’ Association in partnership with the EPA's Circular Economy Programme (CEP). The programme focusses on eight thematic areas which can save costs and improve the environment.
Smart Farming produces case studies to capture the experience of the farmers who take part in the programme and to show how practical actions on resource efficiency can lead to cost savings.
Smart Farming is recognised as a national flagship programme for sustainable agriculture and was declared a Sustainable Development Goals Champion in 2019 by the Department of the Environment.
Smart Farming was also winner of the Agri-Innovation Award at the RDS Spring Awards in 2019.
Any farmer who is looking for advice on changes they can make to farm more sustainably can take part in the Smart Farming programme. The programme is currently accepting registrations for the 2021 Smart Farming programme. To register for a free resource efficiency assessment and cost savings report see the Smart Farming programme registration page.