By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Minister Coveney Announces Commencement of Payments worth €9million to Participants under the Beef, Sheep and Dairy Discussion Programmes

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, today announced that payments under the Beef, Sheep and Dairy Discussion Group Programmes will shortly commence. Minister Coveney said that he was ‘pleased to see that these payments valued at €9 million will begin issuing to the farmers concerned as planned’. He added ‘while I see participation in these Programmes as hugely beneficial to the individual farmers concerned, there is also a wider benefit to each of the farming sectors concerned’.

Following the success of the Dairy Efficiency Programme in helping to meet the Food Harvest development goals for the dairy sector, Minister Coveney secured additional funding in 2013 which allowed for the introduction of the discussion group model for both the beef and sheep sectors. The Minister confirmed that the total budget for these Programmes in 2013 is €9 million, with individual payment rates of €1,000 for dairy participants and €825 for sheep and beef members. 

The Minister said that ‘Research has shown that participation in discussion groups has a real and tangible benefit for farmers, driving measurable growth in profit margins’. He added that he was ‘encouraged at the level of commitment shown by the farmers concerned, with some 10,000 farmers successfully completing the 2013 programmes’. The Minister concluded by “urging all farmers to do their utmost to participate fully in the schedule of meetings and events in 2014, thereby safeguarding their payments under the 2014 Programme. More importantly he said that this would ‘ensure the desired transfer of knowledge and skills that will ultimately benefit everyone in the industry’.

 Note for editors:

Food Harvest 2020 recognised that discussion groups are a very effective method of knowledge transfer. The aim of the three programmes is to provide participants with the knowledge and the skills necessary to reduce costs and increase profit margins on their farms.  

Sheep Technology Adoption Programme (STAP):

STAP was launched in 2013, facilitated by accredited Teagasc and Independent Agricultural Consultants and administered by the Department.  Participants in the scheme are required to attend a minimum of four meetings (they may substitute one by attending an approved national event) and successfully complete two tasks selected by them from a menu of ten.

Beef Technology Adoption Programme (BTAP):

BTAP was launched in 2012 and is also facilitated by accredited Teagasc and Independent Agricultural Consultants and administered by the Department.  Participants in the scheme are required to attend a minimum of six meetings (they may substitute one by attending an approved national event) and successfully complete two tasks selected by them from a menu of nine.

Development Programme for Dairying (DPD):

The Development Programme for Dairying (DPD) was launched in 2013 following the acknowledged and demonstrated success of Discussion Groups under the Dairy Efficiency Programmes (DEP) 2010-2012, in meeting the Food Harvest 2020 development goals for the dairy sector. It targets milk suppliers who did not take part in the earlier DEP to participate in a Discussion Group. It also focuses on developing those farmers who, as yet, do not have their own milking facilities but are committed to a career in dairying.  Programme participants are required to attend at least five Dairy Discussion Group meetings and one Cell Check Workshop and successfully complete a number of tasks.

Date Released: 23 December 2013