Farmers must get 'proactive' on knowledge transfer
Published 20/07/2016 | 02:30
FARMERS must take ownership of the new Knowledge Transfer Groups in order to maximise the benefits of the €100m scheme for ordinary members, writes Declan O'Brien.
Well-known Limerick farm consultant David Walsh said it was vital that farmers engaged proactively with the programme and sought to direct their groups.
This view was shared by John Donworth of Teagasc, who pointed out that the strongest dairy discussion groups were those with the most active and participative farmer members.
"For farmers to get the best out of this scheme, they will have to take ownership of the discussion groups," Mr Walsh said.
Teagasc research has found that participation in a dairy discussion group is worth around 1.5c/l in additional output or around €75/cow.
Advisors also point to the heightened expectations and improved technical ability of participants, and to the social benefits to being involved in discussion groups.
The scheme, which is funded under the Rural Development Programme, is worth around €750/year to 27,000 members.