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Minister Coveney announces commencement of payments to participants under the Dairy Efficiency Programme

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today announced that payments under the Dairy Efficiency Programme have begun issuing to successful participants. "I am pleased to see that these payments have now begun to issue to the farmers concerned”, the Minister said, adding "I see participation if this Programme as hugely beneficial both for the individual farmers concerned and for the dairy sector as a whole".

The Minister noted that a key target of Food Harvest 2020 was a 50% increase in national milk production by the end of the decade, pointing out that participation in dairy discussion groups, as supported under this Programme, is an important element in helping achieve this ambitious target. "Research has shown that participation in discussion groups has a real and tangible benefit for farmers, with Teagasc measuring this as equivalent to an increase of between one and two cent per litre", the Minister said.

The first year of the Programme had been particularly successful, the Minister noted, with in excess of 6,000 farmers ultimately proving to have satisfied the requirements of the Programme and thereby qualifying for a payment of €975 each. "I am encouraged at the level of commitment shown by the farmers concerned and, indeed, by the interest in the Programme for 2011. It is remarkable to see that since the introduction of the Programme, numbers participating on Discussion groups has more than doubled. This can only help the industry as a whole and I earnestly urge all who have signed up to the Programme to do their utmost to participate fully in the schedule of meetings and Events throughout the year, as in the first instance, this will safeguard their payments under the 2011 Programme, but more importantly, will ensure the desired transfer of knowledge and skills that will ultimately benefit all in the industry".

Date Released: 04 May 2011