The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today announced that payments in respect of Year 1 of the Knowledge Transfer Programme have commenced.
The Minister commented “I am delighted to confirm that payments under the Knowledge Transfer Programme have now commenced. The Knowledge Transfer Programme is a key element of the €4 billion Rural Development Programme, and seeks to help farmers develop the skills and knowledge which will enable them to address sustainability, productivity and competitiveness challenges.”
The Minister added “approximately 1,100 Knowledge Transfer Groups under the Programme build on the success of the previous Discussion Group model. In addition to helping to upskill farmers, the group model has also been shown to have significant social benefits for farmers in terms of helping to address issues linked to rural isolation.”
Given the structure of the Programme, payments are now rolling out on a sector by sector basis. Payments for farmers in sheep Knowledge Transfer Groups have already issued, and payments in respect of beef Groups will issue later this week. Payments for dairy, tillage, poultry and equine Groups will follow shortly after.
In each case, there is an EU regulatory requirement that the payment for farmers in Knowledge Transfer Groups must be passed to farmers via the facilitator of their Knowledge Transfer Group. Thus, individual farmer payments will issue to the facilitator who will then pass this payment to the farmer. Where a farmer has met all the requirements of Year 1 of the scheme, the payment is €750. In cases where a farmer is in two Knowledge Transfer Groups, he/she will receive a total payment of €1,225.
The Minister concluded “I have always been very supportive of the group model underpinning the Knowledge Transfer Programme. Not only do farmers get expert advice from a trained facilitator, but they can also share their experience and learn from each other in the group setting. This interaction between farmers has proven to be very popular and successful, and I am confident that the 19.000 farmers currently in Knowledge Transfer Groups will continue to see the very real benefits of this approach.”