The UFU have met DARD digital communications representatives to discuss issues associated with the implementation of their digital communications plan.
While relatively happy with the selection of DARD online tools concerns have been highlighted about the drive towards moving all services online, specifically raising the issue around the removal of fax machines in DARD offices. Farmers need options which reflect the range of circumstances they may find themselves in.
DARD are providing a customer service and this in turn calls for the needs of the farming community to be fairly assessed within the decision making process. The UFU believe that DARD’s online tools are invaluable, but a long term process of encouraging farmers towards using these tools would be more advantageous for everyone, rather than removing options that are currently available.
Further to this, the UFU outlined that lessons must be learnt from the 2015 Single Application process especially in relation to the online capacity and software difficulties as well as ensuring that greater resources are provided for online support services in the future.