Support amounting to €1m has been allocated for the training and professional development of agricultural consultants in this year’s budget, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has confirmed.
The Department has said that with a new CAP looming, providing agricultural consultants with the most up to date information will be a central element in responding to environmental, economic and social challenges.
Minister McConalogue said: “I was delighted to secure funding for a number of new supports in this year’s budget. As my Department rolls out these exciting initiatives, I expect that the provision of high-quality professional advice will have a key role to play.”
Initiatives include: Programme of farmer training on health and safety.Biodiversity training for farmers and on-farm biodiversity studies.National soil sampling programme.Supports for the tillage sector.
The Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) has described the supports as historic and significant.
ACA president Tom Canning said: “We welcome this the first ever commitment to the private sector to assist and develop the necessary skills for the new challenges ahead.
“The advisory service will play a significant role in behavioural changes of Irish farmers in areas such as climate action and farm safety.”
The ACA has said the announcement marks the beginning of greater collaboration between all the stakeholders in the advisory service and acknowledges the critical role of agricultural consultants.
A new consultant on the block
'The preparation for a new CAP needs to start now' – ACA president