Agriculture

Teagasc in €80m programme to improve soil management

Tipperary Star reporter

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Teagasc in €80m programme to improve soil management

Teagasc participants attending the initial EJP launch at INRAE, France and Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands. Pictured from (L to R) were Lilian O’Sullivan, Teagasc Researcher; Ray

Teagasc is a major partner in a new €80m programme to improve the management of agricultural soils across Europe, called the European Joint Programme on Agricultural Soil Management, or EJP SOIL in short.

The European Commission and research organisations in 24 European countries have come together to fund the new 5 year initiative, with support from relevant ministries including the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) in Ireland.

The overall objective is to provide sustainable agricultural soil management solutions that contribute to key societal challenges including climate change and future food supply.

EJP SOIL will develop knowledge, tools and an integrated research community to foster climate-smart sustainable agricultural soil management, and enhance the contribution of agricultural soils to key societal challenges, including climate change adaptation and mitigation, sustainable agricultural production, ecosystem services provision and restoration and prevention of land and soil degradation.

The implementation of climate smart sustainable soil management differs from region to region, between agricultural practices and obviously between different soil types.

As one of its first activities, EJP SOIL will involve European and national stakeholders in identifying knowledge gaps and differences in existing regional and national activities.

Stocktaking will establish the baseline of available knowledge and tools in partner countries and help to identify research priorities.

This will enable the construction of a roadmap that will function as a strategic research agenda that allows for strategic decision making in science, policy and implementation issues across Europe.

EJP SOIL will seek to raise general public awareness and improve understanding of agricultural soil management. Farmers, landowners, land managers and industry will get access to context-specific guidelines for sustainable soil management practices, technology and tools for carbon level accounting.

As part of the roadmap development, stocktaking will look at current models for accounting for soil quality and soil carbon in partner countries.

Among other outcomes, this will lead to possibilities for the implementation of agricultural soil management options accounting for the potential effect on soil organic carbon stocks and greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

For more information about EJP SOIL, please visit www.ejpsoil.org and please subscribe to the programme newsletter.

The EJP SOIL programme has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 652615.