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One week left to submit Farm Improvement Plans

There’s just one week remaining to submit Farm Improvement Plans (FIPs) under the Knowledge Transfer (KT) Programme.

The original deadline for submissions was supposed to be May 31, but this was extended by two months to July 31 by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

However, this deadline was further extended in late July when Minister Creed announced an extension. KT participants must now have their FIPs submitted and completed by Monday, August 21.

Commenting at the time of the most recent extension, Minister Creed said: “The extension of the deadline until August 21 will allow advisors and planners further time to finalise actions required under the scheme.

“It will also enable vets to finalise Animal Health Measures for farmer participants.”

The extension of the deadline until next Monday is only in relation to the submission of FIPs; the deadline of July 31 for holding meetings of KT groups remained in place.

Last week, the Department of Agriculture announced that approximately 11,200 FIPs had been completed and submitted across all six sectors of the KT Programme.

These FIPs had been completed and submitted via the KT FIP Online System, the department added. Close to 5,000 other FIPs were also in the process of being completed by KT facilitators.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that just over 20,000 farmers were registered with the department under the KT Programme.

The KT Programme is funded under the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020; it involves group interaction complemented by one-to-one advice across a range of sectors.

A total of €100 million in funding has been allocated under the RDP for KT groups across the dairy, beef, equine, sheep, tillage and poultry sectors.

As part of the KT groups, participants are required to attend meetings and approved KT events which – together with a tailored FIP – will hopefully support farmers in addressing a range of competitiveness and sustainability challenges facing the sector.

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