Farmers offered training to help reduce pollution

In a bid to make sure farmers in Northern Ireland are complying with new rules to improve water quality in rivers and lakes in the country, the government has launched a new training scheme.

The Nitrates Action Programme Regulations came into force in January 2007 and established measures to control the application and storage of livestock manures and fertilisers.

The rules apply to all farms across Northern Ireland.

Now, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), working with the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), is planning to run a series of workshops across the north to help farmers understand the requirements of the new laws.

Minister Michelle Gildernew explained: “It is imperative that all farmers have a full grasp of the Nitrates Action Programme, its impact on their farms and a clear understanding of the records that should be kept.

“This will help them to minimise the regulatory burden.”

He added that the new course was following the success of the previous round of Nitrates Information Meetings that were held last year.

“My staff will be on hand at more than 20 venues across the north in the coming weeks to help farmers,” he said.

“I would encourage all farmers to attend one of these workshops if they have not already done so.”

James Cooper

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