A suite of knowledge transfer measures are included in the new Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, and will consist of support for Knowledge Transfer Groups across the Beef, Sheep, Dairy, Poultry, Tillage and Equine sectors. 2015 will initially see groups being established under the Beef, Dairy and Equine sectors with Poultry, Tillage and Sheep commencing in 2016.
The scheme design has been guided by experiences from previous Dairy Advisory Schemes and Beef and Sheep Discussion Groups and following extensive consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. The scheme builds significantly on the discussion group model and is designed in such a way as to ensure the farmer and advisor engage in one to one discussion on key aspects of a farmers’ business such as profitability, environmental sustainability, breeding and herd health.
Each approved Knowledge Transfer Facilitator must prepare for and hold a minimum of 5 Knowledge Exchange meetings each year and oversee the preparation and submission of a FIP for each participating farmer. Facilitators will also be responsible for confirming the completion of scheme requirements by participating farmers. This will be completed via a dedicated online system using their existing online registration details. New facilitators will be required to register with the Department’s online system.
Participating Knowledge Transfer facilitators require a minimum of an NFQ level 8 Agriculture Science Degree, have Indemnity Insurance and must be willing to undertake Facilitator Training and related Continuous Professional Development Training as provided by the Department over the duration of the programme.