Over 1,000 people, including some 150 from oversees, tuned into an organic farming conference that was broadcast from Co. Leitrim last week.

The BioFarm 2020 Conference was broadcast live from Carrick-on-Shannon to delegates from 19 countries across five days.

Organised by the National Organic Training Skillnet (NOTS), which is based in Drumshanbo, the conference is in its third year. It is usually a two-day in-person affair, but due to Covid-19 was moved online.

The event was addressed by experts on biological and organic farming from as far afield as Zimbabwe, Australia, the US, New Zealand, Canada, Sweden and Brazil.

These speakers were joined by working Irish farmers and growers, who spoke about their work.

The speakers spoke about how “regenerative farming can go further toward improving soil health on farms…while still providing better on-farm incomes and reducing input costs”.

NOTS manager, conference organiser and Leitrim native Sean McGloin remarked: “The big takeaway from the event is that biological agriculture is a win-win for farmers and the nation as a whole.

It works equally well for organic and conventional farmers, and it has the science to back it up.

NOTS is planning to build on the success of the event by introducing a series of training programmes in 2021 using some of the BioFarm 2020 speakers as trainers. These courses will be run in both virtual and on-farm practical (Covid-permitting) settings.

In September of next year, NOTS is launching a new Masters (MSc) in Organic and Biological Agriculture, and are putting together plans for a larger version of the conference for ‘BioFarm 2021’.

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