Week 3

During week 3, I carried out research on the current agri schemes that we have here in Ireland. I began looking at the CAP reform and how this put a greater focus on biodiversity and farmland conservation.

I also visited a family farm and had a brief discussion with the head farmer to see what his thoughts were on these schemes. He has taken part in REPS before and was now taking advice from Teagasc to help increase biodiversity on his farm. All in all, he had a positive attitude towards these schemes.

Week 2

This week I began my research into past schemes and how they have been designed. I read a detailed review on REPS regarding their success and failures. Many of their failures could be directly linked to the design on their schemes. This gave an interesting look into how the design of a scheme has a direct impact on the outcome.

I also attended the Agri Career Fair in the RDS Dublin. This was a great opportunity to meet people from different agricultural backgrounds and discuss my project with them.

Week 1

This week gave me time to become familiar with my project. My thesis will be based around policies regarding conversational farming. To understand the importance of these policies, I began researching the need for biodiversity and how we have lost so much of it already, at both a global and national scale. Biodiversity provides ‘ecosystem services’ meaning it is valuable to the environment and to humans. Therefore, these policies are becoming more and more important to protect biodiversity.

Next week, I will become familiar with the design of such schemes and examine cases where schemes have been successful and unsuccessful.