Pictured above, from left at the Devenish Lands at Dowth are: Tim Cody, Accenture; Leo Clancy, Enterprise Ireland; Roberta MacDonald, Devenish; Richard Kennedy, Devenish; and Stephen Creaner, Enterprise Ireland.
Agri-technology company Devenish, in collaboration with global professional services firm Accenture, has launched a groundbreaking sustainable farming initiative which will help decarbonise the global agriculture sector by supporting farmers to continue to produce nutritious meat and milk while dramatically improving their carbon balance.
By accurately measuring on-farm carbon emissions and, uniquely, carbon sequestration, it is estimated Agrinewal will enable over five million tons of carbon to be sequestered by 2030. This will create new value for farmers across the island of Ireland, and substantially accelerate the achievement of climate goals while also improving biodiversity, water quality and overall farm resilience.
Using the latest cloud-based technology, it provides a Carbon Balance Sheet and identifies actions which will help the wider agricultural sector reach net zero carbon emissions and beyond, boosting the environmental credentials for producers, processors and at every point on the food chain.
Enterprise Ireland has provided €400,000 of funding for Agrinewal and was launched today at Devenish’s Lands at Dowth, County Meath, a partner in the Teagasc Signpost Farm Programme.
The output of 21 years of research and science by Devenish and backed by the latest artificial intelligence and cloud technology expertise from Accenture, the system uses precise monitoring and regenerative agriculture practices, such as soil health, biodiversity and carbon sequestration and focuses on the renewal of resources, rather than depletion.
Agrinewal improves on-farm financial performance, soil health, animal welfare and water quality while also reducing harmful emissions and increasing biodiversity. Additionally, it also opens up the possibility of new income streams for farmers from Carbon Farming and Data Analytics.
It allows farmers to maximise the potential of their land in a sustainable fashion and, because each farm will be on the road to achieving net zero and beyond, it will change the narrative around the agriculture sector from a climate problem to a climate solution.
Richard Kennedy, Chief Executive of Devenish, said: "Agrinewal's purpose is to heal the planet and create value for farmers, processors, consumer brands and governments. Our vision is to enable carbon neutral farming on a global scale while at the same time empowering farmers to increase revenues from their work to provide healthy, nutritious food.
"Devenish's farming research and science knowledge, coupled with technology from Accenture, makes for a clear differentiation from other farm management systems. Agrinewal will improve farm incomes through improved farm efficiencies and performance, as well as introducing new value through carbon while working towards solving the existential threats to farming and environmental issues.
"Agrinewal is a game changer for farming, for food and for the environment, for this and the following generations."
Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, said: "Today's announcement by Devenish clearly demonstrates that Ireland remains at the forefront of innovation within the agriculture sector, leveraging science and technology to create a new and exciting solution. Agrinewal is a critical response to the challenges posed by climate change and seeks to actively support the farming community in reducing emissions while improving sustainability practises. We at Enterprise Ireland recognise the value of Ireland’s high quality agriculture sector and the future potential of that industry. We are delighted to support this initiative which will further elevate Ireland's status as a global leader in solutions for future, greener and more productive agriculture."
Tim Cody, managing director, Products at Accenture in Ireland said: "We are delighted to have worked with Devenish on this exciting initiative. At Accenture we bring together the power of technology and human ingenuity every day. This is a great example of this. Our teams are working together to harness the power of artificial intelligence, data analytics and cloud to drive transformational change for both the food and the agricultural industries, putting Ireland at the forefront of innovation in this important area."
The Irish agriculture and food development authority Teagasc has supported the development and rollout of Agrinewal.
Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle from Teagasc said: "Carbon sequestration in our soils, woodlands and hedgerows is a very important part of the overall climate balance of a farm. Teagasc has a lot of expertise in measuring and modelling whole farm greenhouse gas balance and we look forward to collaborating with Devenish around the use of these models."
Agrinewal is initially focused on beef and dairy farmers on the island of Ireland before being rolled out globally in the coming years.
It can be implemented at any scale and offers enormous benefits not just for farmers and food producers but for society, with its ever-increasing demand for sustainably produced nutritious food, and for the planet itself.