Look around you
We are all involved in farming, even those of us who live in cities. It is important that we know what is happening in the farming industry because this affects our daily lives. We will look at how farming impacts on us and how some of the changes in farming will affect us in the future.
Irish food and farming
Up until the 1960s, people in Ireland mostly grew their own food or got it locally. In 1962, what was later called the European Union (EU) introduced the common agriculture policy. This gave member states control over food production in Europe. Farmers were paid bonuses to produce more food. Over time, most farmers in Ireland changed to more intensive farming so that they could produce more crops or so that they could rear more animals.
Intensive farming methods mean that lots more food can be produced from the same amount of land. This makes food cheaper for people to buy. The farmer can do this because he has artificial fertilisers and weed killers so that more crops can be grown and more animals can be reared. This can also be bad for the soil and can cause ill health and diseases in animals.