AGRICULTURE - please comment to add your ideas

Please comment with your climate change ideas/feedback on agriculture, some actions you might want to consider ideas for are; 

  • Promoting local produce to minimise food miles.
  • Reviewing local agricultural practices to minimise emissions.
  • Exploring alternative agricultural opportunities on the IOM.

Why the contribution is important

Your opinion counts

by SaraIOMGov on September 19, 2019 at 11:52AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 5.0
Based on: 1 vote


  • Posted by ianpilbeam September 20, 2019 at 08:45

    Can we encourage more horticulture on Island. Why are we importing tomatoes, green veg and salad?
  • Posted by TheBellhop September 20, 2019 at 09:27

    Encourage and educate people to grow their own fruit and vegetables - whatever they're capable of with the space available to them (full garden, allotment, yard or windowsill).

    Diversify farming to ensure that a higher percentage of local fruit and vegetables are available all year round. Perhaps offer empty centralised buildings as a pop up space for farmers markets during the weekdays (instead of having them out of town on week days when most people are at work - for example the old shoprite premises)

    Generally educate and encourage people to make positive change for themselves with campaigns that include facts, suggests and help - reduction in eating low quality meat, increase in fruit and vegetables, reduce food waste, what are food miles etc

    Work with big name suppliers (the supermarket chains) to include more locally sourced items, some of them are quite good at this, but others are all branded and shipped items.

  • Posted by NettyH September 20, 2019 at 19:05

    I don’t know an awful lot about agriculture but I am intrigued by regenerative agriculture. If not already practiced, it should be encouraged. There are plenty of YouTube videos about it. It negates the use of herbicides and pesticides and builds the soil. This means CO2 is sequestered.

    A greater diversity in produce grown by farmers and the Allan Savory method of cattle management will also help a lot. Permaculture is also a great way to sequester CO2 as trees are the backbone of the practice.
  • Posted by Bugeyed September 21, 2019 at 08:11

    I’m not a farmer, but have been very encouraged recently by the Knepp Estate project and efforts by the Nature Friendly Farming Network to spread ideas on sustainable agriculture. It is not only possible to protect biodiversity, look after water catchments and make soils healthy, it seems to make good business sense for the farmer too. Surely all of this should be considered as part of the climate change plan and our farmers supported in moving towards a more stable system. We are a whole island Biosphere reserve and we should be looking at this on a landscape scale.
  • Posted by sue September 21, 2019 at 08:36

    Encourage more allotments to grow own veg, make more communities. Encourage farmers to diversify, look at hemp growing, could be so useful and dare I mention Cannabis (but obviously need law change). More organic soils more tree planting.

  • Posted by sue September 21, 2019 at 08:36

    This comment has been removed by a moderator.

  • Posted by LingLing September 21, 2019 at 15:49

    I’m thrilled to see the plans to plant more trees, however wonder if planting in a more Agroforestry system would be more beneficial than a mono crop system currently. By creating mini ecosystems that provide more protection from our wild winds in order to support the soil quality, and retain moisture, heat and nutrients more efficiently , whilst providing diverse food production. Diversity is surely key if we are to become more self sufficient. By creating well positioned clearings within the forest environment it would be possible to create allotment style areas to plant other types of vegetables. There are many examples, however Martin Crawford is a leader in his field in the UK and provides plenty of information on the topic 😃
  • Posted by freespirit September 22, 2019 at 17:01

    Would agree with all above - encourage local produce more . Encourage local shops to stock local produce as they currently don't . And preferably not in packaging
  • Posted by LizH September 23, 2019 at 11:13

    Agree with all the above. Would like to see the government explore food security and sustainability with a view to provision of good non animal protein sources and good soil management whilst also caring for our wildlife, insects etc . Ideally organic permaculture ideas
  • Posted by wjh September 23, 2019 at 23:42

    Agree with all of the above. Plus stop building housing estates on greenfield sites that could be used for food production. Also any new housing developments should include community allotments.
  • Posted by RachelAG September 24, 2019 at 09:23

    Excellent ideas above! Would love to see us living in the way outlined. Permaculture and self sufficiency makes most sense to me.
  • Posted by marloncruz September 24, 2019 at 10:38

    I am seeing some great ideas but we have to agreed on built an extensive data base including historical data, current and planned development of initiatives.
    Is there any sort of library with access to such type of data in place in the Isle of Man.....?

    The impact of our decision in a long term and benefical basis will strongly depend on the quality of information and knowledge that people can have access to take decisions and start projects at different levels.....

    .....a Titans job but the only way to get it is starting and for that reason this dialogue is so important
  • Posted by petersmith September 25, 2019 at 12:52

    • Research and development of viable enteric inhibitors for livestock.
  • Posted by petersmith September 25, 2019 at 12:53

    • Soil health schemes to encourage better understanding of our soil.
  • Posted by petersmith September 25, 2019 at 12:54

    • Seize upon carbon capture and education of what it is and how it works.
  • Posted by petersmith September 25, 2019 at 12:54

    • Tree planting schemes of the right trees in the right places.
  • Posted by petersmith September 25, 2019 at 12:54

    • Recognition that farmers will be in the best position to manage the land for environmental benefit if they have profitable, competitive businesses and that food production and positive environmental benefits can be achieved side by side.
  • Posted by petersmith September 25, 2019 at 12:54

    • Recognition and celebration of the work farmers do to deliver the more common goals surrounding climate change.
  • Posted by petersmith September 25, 2019 at 12:55

    • The collection of more reliable and robust data on soils that can be used at farm level to help farmers make informed management decisions for their business. Incomparable data should not be used for national benchmarking as soil types are too diverse.
  • Posted by petersmith September 25, 2019 at 12:55

    • Recognition of good practices already undertaken. This information should be collected via DEFA farm survey.
  • Posted by petersmith September 25, 2019 at 12:56

    • An ambitious productivity programme to lower greenhouse gas intensity and ammonia emissions by providing targeted investment, supporting research and development, and incentivising the adoption of technical advances coupled with training, uptake of new techniques, advice and encouraging collaboration.
  • Posted by petersmith September 25, 2019 at 12:56

    • Ensuring further progress to reduce emissions is manageable and affordable so farmers who want to continue to be more efficient and continue to adopt good practice are able to.
  • Posted by petersmith September 25, 2019 at 12:56

    • The provision of grant funding opportunities for investment in infrastructure and new techniques, such as slurry stores or slurry bags and covering yards, to enable further significant reductions in ammonia emissions to be made.
  • Posted by petersmith September 25, 2019 at 12:58

    • Manx farmers need the ability to provide clean green energy to the national grid through.
    o Solar
    o Wind
    o AD
    o Bio Energy
     Financing and setup costs should be supported through climate change mitigation grants and from the Manx energy provider Manx Utilities in the form of fair feed in tariffs and added support including renewable heat incentives.
  • Posted by petersmith September 25, 2019 at 13:14

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report on Climate Change and Land identified a range of practices which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions including:

    a) improved feed and dietary additives (e.g., bioactive compounds, fats), used to increase productivity and reduce emissions from enteric fermentation;
    b) breeding (e.g., breeds with higher productivity or reduced emissions from enteric fermentation),
    c) herd management, including decreasing neo-natal mortality, improving sanitary conditions, animal health and herd renewal, and diversifying animal species,
    d) emerging technologies (of which some are not legally authorised in several countries) such as propionate enhancers, nitrate and sulphate supplements, archaea inhibitors and archaeal vaccines, methanotrophs, acetogens, defaunation of the rumen, bacteriophages and probiotics, ionophores / antibiotics; and
    e) improved manure management, including manipulation of bedding and storage conditions, anaerobic digesters; biofilters, dietary change and additives, soil-applied and animal-fed nitrification inhibitors, urease inhibitors, fertiliser type, rate and timing, manipulation of manure application practices, and grazing management.

    It also noted that reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions footprint of livestock products can also lead to absolute reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. However we don’t, and neither does science, have all the answers or solutions at our fingertips now. For example, new research in New Zealand has found that there are low methane emitting sheep which produce 10% less methane but this is far from market at the moment.
    In its land use report last year, the Committee on Climate Change called for more to be done on agricultural R&D to address historical under-investment. We need research to start now to find solutions for the future.
  • Posted by wjh September 26, 2019 at 23:30

    Provide grants to any farmers who would like to diversify into planting woodland burial sites on suitable land. Even one would be better than what we have now (none!)
  • Posted by memnewb September 30, 2019 at 17:10

    The work done by DEFA in keeping a sustainable forestry on the Island is excellent. This could be expanded as a way of providing sustainable bio fuel and bio Char which can be used to capture carbon and improve the soil quality. Whilst I appreciate that this could not be done on a massive scale, it could be a self funding scheme that would also provide better soil drainage to our arable land.
  • Posted by paulweatherall October 02, 2019 at 11:29

    Consideration should be given to:
    Encouraging farmers to diversify from beef, dairy cattle and sheep. A 20% reduction by 2045 and 10% by 2030..
    Planting loads more trees. 85,000 is not enough. 85,000 a year for 10 years starting this autumn may be. A mix of trees including fruit trees
    Designating land on the northern plain, released from grazing pasture for solar farms
  • Posted by Codger October 10, 2019 at 10:05

    Grants to farmers to install solar panels on barn roofs to top up batteries for neighbours in the locality. Essentially they will become the gas stations of the future, or, as in France the barn roofs supply into the national grid.
  • Posted by Codger October 10, 2019 at 10:07

    Investigate Methane collection at farmers slurry pits ( also at the Meary Veg sewerage treatment works).
  • Posted by Codger October 10, 2019 at 10:10

    Carbon baseline calculated for each farm and then certificated so that iom farmers can participate in carbon offset programmes ie local businesses can buy their offset credits from local farms instead of uk.
  • Posted by NoMoreFossilFeul October 11, 2019 at 04:07

    Allow harvesting of more than just food crops.
    Should all be viable options to farmers, being able to turn a legitimate profit would mean that subsidies would not be required.
  • Posted by Fell October 12, 2019 at 16:49

    Identify the net contribution of livestock farming to the Island's emissions taking into account the positive carbon sequestration impact of grassland and hedgerows. I understand that on this basis UK livestock farming on average produces 1/3rd of the emissions of the global average for this type of farming.

    Do our farming subsidies encourage the reintroduction of meadows with their plant and insect diversity - as opposed to pure grassland? If not this could be an appropriate incentive.
  • Posted by Fell October 12, 2019 at 16:51

    I am not sure how to make the change but a huge issue has to be the amount of food that is bought and not consumed - particularly this applies to vegetables, dairy, eggs and bread. This may be something that our schools could educate their pupils on - to put pressure on parents....
  • Posted by AnneE October 13, 2019 at 13:24

    Reduce the reliance on antibiotics by increasing Hygienic methods.
  • Posted by Griffdog October 13, 2019 at 14:12

    we need to encourage small start up businesses to grow crops in non conventional ways - as they do in London. Salad warehouses and hydroponics. Buying local food is growing in popularity but still seen as a luxury for the rich.
  • Posted by manxfelipe October 13, 2019 at 20:55

    Tax imported dairy products and red meat to make it a more viable option for consumers to buy local.

    Put a solar farm on the Burma Road near the junction with Thurot Road, from years of cycling I can say that there is the sunniest place on the island and perfect location for one.

    Plant 2 trees for every resident not 1 as planned.

  • Posted by JandGlover October 15, 2019 at 14:32

    Local produce grown then sold by IOM Farmers markets is excellent etc. However some people perceive is as expensive … which is often not the case. They need help marketing what they do and the general public need educating more about where and when they can purchase local goods. Ballakarran's mobile shop is an excellent concept as people do not have to travel from where they live. I agree with other commenters that local supermarkets need to stock more local produce and in non plastic packaging where possible. Wouldn't it be great to have a couple of dedicated large shops that sold mostly local produce!
  • Posted by FHorning October 15, 2019 at 20:56

    The new agricultural strategy is a step in the right direction. Ensure that the ecosystem services, which get payments, are the ones which have the biggest impact on biodiversity and bio abundance and are long lasting. Their maintenance should be encouraged through payments.

    Ecosystem services need to be permanently financed, the area based system largely abandoned. Payments for farming infrastructure and knowledge sharing should be enhanced.
  • Posted by WooWaaBob October 15, 2019 at 21:51

    Use waste heat from the EfW plant to heat greenhouses on the south facing hill above the plant. Grow salad vegetables all year round that would normally need to be imported.
  • Posted by Louise October 16, 2019 at 17:51

    Linking in the subsidy scheme to green farming practices, with aspirational standards required to earn the highest payment.
  • Posted by ManxMuriellie October 17, 2019 at 12:37

    Lots of great ideas already posted.
    Encourage more sustainable approaches - penalise hedge removal and encourage their re-planting where they have been removed; discourage grassland ‘improvement’ which intensifies land use and loses biodiversity; more native wildflower field margins and native tree planting.
    Encourage land management that retains carbon - especially on our uplands, where peat stores vast amounts of carbon.
    Ensure tree planting is sensitive and appropriate in terms of species and sites.
    Ensure land is not drained inappropriately, exacerbating problems of increased rainfall due to climate change.
    Solar panels on farm buildings.
    Increase diversity of food grown so island relies less on food shipped in. Community allotments.
    All aspects of agriculture need to have biodiversity protection at its heart - listen to and follow advice of the conservation bodies on the island (and in the UK). Get all sides working together so food production and managing climate change and reducing biodiversity loss are balanced.
  • Posted by Brown29lamb October 17, 2019 at 17:50

    All land owners should be financially encouraged to have small wind turbines on their property.
    This has been done in Denmark for long years.
    All commissioners houses should have photo voltaic panels on roofs.
    Legislation to make all new build incorporate solar panels and photo voltaic panels.
    Decent rate of return for home owners produced energy.
    Tidal power.
  • Posted by charlieboyiom October 18, 2019 at 07:57

    It’s imperative that all green fields are soil tested to establish their potential for future additional crop growth. Existing farmland that is put up for sale should have soil testing carried out to establish its rating. The rating should establish a high level of protection to stop it be used for development.
    Increase diversity of food grown requires more land for agricultural and far less green field development.
    Encourage allotment participation by freeing up areas of land for crop growing on Government owned sites. Nobles Hospital in particular has large areas of grassland that could be mage available and supply the hospital kitchens too
  • Posted by Joney October 18, 2019 at 18:27

    We need to support farmers to make the transition from livestock-based, to crop farming. A great example is the farmer who chose to grow quinoa here on the island. More of this. Stop pretending we can carry on eating meat at the rate we currently do - it's not sustainable. More encouragement and education around the benefits of buying local. All schools should have sustainable, locally-grown and mainly plant-based options.
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