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Exploring the Attitudes to Environment Protection within Irish Agriculture Sector: Focus on Livestock Waste Management.

This research topic came from my own interest in agriculture. In Rwanda, I spent many years trying to solve issues relating to environment protection, and tried to come up with new and innovative ways to find solutions to different problems. But during that journey in finding the solutions I learnt that in solving the environmental problems, knowledge and means can help little when we don’t have good attitudes and environmental conscience. When I moved to Ireland, I saw an opportunity to further this interest through the lens of development. Having visited several farms and having spoken to farmers about European legislation, it was clear to me that there was a discrepancy in what they were being told to do and what they could physically do in an Irish context. I became interested in pursuing this point and finding out how farmers really feel about the way in which the EU tackles environment protection.

This study explores the Irish farmers’ attitudes towards environmental protection with a particular focus on their daily practices and challenges. I am curious to know how they succeed in this tough business, especially in relation to livestock waste management. Through knowledge, experience, facilities and EU regulations, I wanted to see how they could succeed in a sustainable way.

Having evaluated the findings I learned that no business can be successful without rules of the game; the EU policy at the top brought a culture of management of farming and agricultural activities. These rules, however, can be very restrictive in allowing farmers fulfil their duties. In demonstrating the love they have for the environment, these farmers identified the weather and lack of money and knowledge as obstacles hindering their compliance with the strict regulations.

The conclusions of the research concur with the findings demonstrating the role played by the EU/ Irish policy in environment protection, acknowledging both positive and negative impacts and achievements. These policies promote a culture of management and despite the challenges faced at constituency level, environment protection is showing positive signs of  improvement as people’s awareness and understanding of its essential role increase.


Patrick Kalisa (2013)


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