SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone has called for sustainable alternatives to the practice of spreading poultry litter on local agricultural land.
Mr McGlone, who is the chair of the DETI committee, was speaking following an announcement from DETI and DARD of a SBRI competition for utilisation of poultry litter.
The SBRI programme is a two-stage pre-commercial procurement scheme run by the Technology Strategy Board.
“I welcome the Small Business Research Initiative (“SBRI”) competition for finding sustainable alternatives for the disposal of poultry litter which is essential to help support and grow the agri-foods industry,” he said.
“I was very happy to support the Technology Strategy Board’s Small Business Research Initiative during an Assembly debate earlier this week and finding alternatives to poultry litter is one example of how it is working.
“If we do not look for feasible ways to progress alternatives to land spread of poultry litter then we may miss opportunities for further investment and job creation, with poultry production moving elsewhere.
The SBRI competition is a means of encouraging the development of finding alternative solutions for poultry litter disposal. Mr McGlone said it has the “real potential” to enhance the agri-foods sector.
Mr McGlone added: “I am sure that local firms will avail of opportunities for grant aid to develop alternative solutions to help support the industry.”