The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), employing 800 staff who undertake assigned research work programmes on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Environment Rural Affairs (DAERA). In addition, AFBI carries out scientific work on a commercial basis with £18.8m of its funding coming from non-DAERA related contracts. AFBI’s core functions are to deliver a programme of statutory testing, surveillance, emergency response, research and development and scientific advice in relation to animal and plant disease, the environment, food safety, freshwater and marine fisheries and rural and agri-food and rural economics. Aspects of this scientific programme enable DAERA and Northern Ireland to comply with national and EU legislation. The Agri-Environmental Branch (AEB), the section of AFBI involved in this proposal, has a strong track record of conducting research on mitigating the impact of agriculture on water quality. AEB is the main provider of technical and scientific support to DAERA and other government department for the successful delivery of the Water Framework Directive, Nitrates Directive and Phosphorus Regulations in Northern Ireland.

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