Northern Ireland Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots has urged people to respond to one of the most significant agricultural consultations in the last 50 years.

The Future Agricultural Policy proposals for Northern Ireland were launched for public consultation on December 21, 2021.

Speaking about the consultation, the minister said: “This is a pivotal moment in our agricultural history and we have a once in a generation opportunity to forge our own path.

"The proposals provide a vision for a future agricultural regime that promotes productive, efficient practices through greater innovation and capacity, whilst protecting the environment, animal health and welfare and public health.

It is the first time in around 50 years that we have had the freedom to draft policies that take into account Northern Ireland’s unique landscape, history and industry, and ensure that we have the right strategies in place to meet the changing and challenging needs of all our stakeholders.

“We can only make this transition this by working together in the co-development and design of new measures and interventions which better address the needs of Northern Ireland agriculture, the environment and rural communities.”

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) officials are currently hosting a number of information sessions during this eight week consultation period.

Minister Poots concluded by urging everyone with an interest to respond to the consultation:

“The public consultation is open until February 15, 2022. Views are welcome from all sectors, age-groups, organisations and individuals.

"We want to hear from people with an interest in agriculture, the environment, rural affairs or food production.

Consultation responses will be used to inform the development of agricultural policy to develop a future sustainable agricultural industry

"Responses to be submitted through Citizen Space will help shape future support measures and pave the way to a tailored agricultural policy that best meets the needs of Northern Ireland."