More than 2,900 farmers have attended their first training events under the Business Development Groups (BDG) scheme as part of the wider Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS).
The events, which were hosted at CAFRE Campuses, included formal registration to the programme and provided an opportunity for group members to meet each other and a CAFRE Adviser to discuss the requirements and the further roll out of the programme.
Farmers who have been invited to a BDG training event, but were unable to attend will be offered one further opportunity to register in the coming weeks.
Registered BDG members should look forward to a targeted programme of training events focused on BDG members’ needs.
BDG’s are part-funded through the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 to help farmers improve their technical and business efficiency, assist with long term planning of their farm business and improve access to new technologies and innovative ways of working.
Key to the success of the programme is ensuring that the correct farmers are in the correct groups.
Participants will have one opportunity to change the group they have been allocated to if they find they have insufficient commonality with the other group members.
DARD will continue to offer support to farmers who have chosen not to be part of the BDG programme. Farm Family Key Skills, a sister programme to BDG’s, which will be delivered through CAFRE, will provide farmers outside of Groups with training across four core areas which are; animal health, health and safety, business planning and DARD IT systems.
CAFRE delivers Farm Advisory Service (FAS) support to all farmers through the delivery of training and knowledge and technology transfer events, increased opportunity to use on-line decision support tools and through the issue of regular newsletters.
The Farm Advisory Service (FAS) offers advice to help farmers understand and meet the requirements of Cross Compliance, Greening (the Basic Payments Scheme) and the European Directives on both water protection and sustainable pesticide use.