Farm Minister Michelle McIlveen attended the Farm Business Improvement Scheme Roadshow, held in Armagh on Thursday past.
According to DARD sources, 400 farmers attended the event, which was held throughout the day.
“This brings the total farmer attendance across all six roadshows to well over 3000,” said McIlveen.
“This is an extremely encouraging turnout. The roadshows were designed to advise farmers on the scope of both Tier 1 and Tier2, where the capital element of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme is concerned.
“There was also a thorough explanation given of the actual application process to be followed. Extra marks will be given for applications submitted on line.”
The minister highlighted the fact that all DAERA offices and libraries can be availed of by farmers wishing to submit an application form on-line. She also confirmed that, to date, 1,000 farmers had already made use of the “Making It Safer” farm risk assessment tool. All applicants must provide a ‘Making it Safer’ self-assessment certificate as part of their application.
“This is extremely encouraging, given that farming is such a dangerous occupation,” she said.
“It is vital that we improve health and safety on our local farms. And I would encourage all farmers to complete this assessment, not just those who will need it for an application to the Farm Business Improvement Scheme.”
McIlveen also confirmed that most farmers agreed with the principle of having each application accompanied by a support letter from the farmer’s bank, adding: “This approach ensures that the farmer has sought a second opinion prior to an application being submitted. It also reduces the likelihood of there being any underspend, where the scheme as a whole is concerned.”
Farmers attending the event in Armagh expressed an interest in securing a range of items within Tier 1. These included meal bins, trailers, cow comfort products, slat rubber and fencing materials.
Larger equipment items included slurry tankers with a trailing shoe attachment and diet feeders.