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Minister Creed Launches €100M Knowledge Transfer Group Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, today launched the €100m Knowledge Transfer Group Scheme.  The Scheme is co-funded by the National Exchequer and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development as part of Ireland’s €4bn Rural Development Programme, 2014-2020.

Knowledge Transfer Groups will be implemented for some 27,000 farmers across 6 sectors – Beef, Sheep, Dairy, Tillage, Equine and Poultry.  These groups will provide a key support to the agri-food sector in building its knowledge and skills base to underpin continued growth and competitiveness.

Minister Creed outlined “the scheme builds significantly on the previous Discussion Group model and is designed in such a way as to ensure the farmer and advisor engage in one to one discussion on key aspects of a farmer’s business such as controlling input costs, , environmental sustainability, breeding and herd health. This one to one engagement will be complemented by group based discussion and the sharing of experience and information between farmers.”

Knowledge Transfer Groups will run for a period of three years, and form part of an integrated package of supports to be delivered under the Rural Development Programme. 

Minister Creed added “the Government’s continued support for the range of measures contained in the Rural Development Programme underline its commitment to facilitate farmers in addressing sustainability, productivity and competitiveness challenges.  Helping farmers pursue best practice can only help to serve continued efforts in protecting and improving farmer’s incomes.”

Another significant benefit of the scheme the Minister has noted is the socialisation element of the scheme.  Minister Creed continued“rural isolation has long been a factor in contributing to mental health issues amongst farmers.  Schemes such as this which encourage interaction on an on-going basis are a useful tool in the battle against this significant problem.”

Knowledge Transfer Groups will be delivered to farmers by qualified facilitators, with the first Groups expected to be approved in June.  To support the roll out of the Scheme, the Department has put in place a schedule of information sessions for farmers and facilitators as follows:

 

Date

County

Venue

Monday

23rd May 2016

Mayo

Breaffy House Hotel, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

Tuesday

24th May 2016

Tipperary

KT Equine only:

Horse and Jockey, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

Wednesday

25th May 2016

Limerick / Tipperary

Ballykisteen Hotel, Limerick Junction, Co Tipperary

Thursday

26th May 2016

Mullingar

Mullingar Park Hotel, Dublin Road, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

Monday

30th May 2016

Galway

Raheen Woods Hotel, Athenry, Co. Galway

Tuesday

31st May 2016

Cork

Silver Springs Hotel, Tivoli, Co. Cork

Wednesday

1st June

Carlow

Seven Oaks Hotel, Athy Road, Co. Carlow

 

Separate Knowledge Transfer Information Sessions will be run for facilitators from 2.30pm until 4.30pm and for farmers from 7pm until 8.30pm on each day.

Approved facilitators can submit participant details of Knowledge Transfer Groups for approval at   www.agriculture.gov.ie/agfood

Terms and Conditions and application forms for the Scheme are now available at: http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmerschemespayments/knowledgetransferprogramme/

added 28.01.16

EDITORS’ NOTES

 

Scheme requirements

While farmers will be required to attend 5 Knowledge Transfer meetings in each of the 3 years of the Groups, a central element of the design of the Groups is the requirement for farmers to complete an individualised Farm Improvement Plan (FIP) in conjunction with the Group facilitator. 

In response to stakeholder feedback a number of modifications have been made to the scheme design.  Firstly, it is open for a farmer to arrange for an approved nominee to attend in his/her place should the need arise.  Secondly, it is open for farmers to attend two Groups in different sectors – for example, one beef Group and one sheep Group.  Given the overlap between the content of the Groups across sectors, such dual participation will attract a 50% payment rate for both the facilitator and the farmer in respect of the second Group joined.

Group Size

Each KT Group generally consist of between 12 and18 members. 

Scheme Payments

Each participating farmer will receive an annual payment of €750 in respect of successful completion of each year of a Knowledge Transfer Group.  Each facilitator will receive an annual payment of €500 per participating farmer who successfully completes each year of a Knowledge Transfer Group.

A reduced rate of 50% applies in each case in respect of participation in a second group.

added 18.05.16 

View Press Release as a PDF:  DAFMPR 46/2016 (pdf 517Kb) 

 

Date Released: 18 May 2016