It has been confirmed that farmers will be able to put questions to officials of the Department of Agriculture at the two remaining CAP Strategic Plan town hall webinars.

The announcement was made by the Department after Tuesday’s consultation only allowed questions to be submitted via the webinar’s chat function, with these questions seen exclusively by the webinar’s moderators and not by the other attendees.

The webinar format has drawn criticism from farm organisations .

Participants of the next two webinars will have the opportunity to read out questions submitted before each event, according to the Department, or to submit written questions by chat.

This format will be “subject to time pressures” the Department added in its announcement of the change.

“The Department understand the concern from some farmers around the format of the first town hall meeting and it is moving to update the format for the next two meetings where, subject to time pressures, farmers can read out questions they have previously emailed in or through the meeting’s ‘chat function’,” the Department has said.

Farmers’ views

The town hall-style webinars have been organised by the Department as part of the consultation process on the draft interventions proposed in the Minister’s CAP Strategic Plan for 2023-2027.

The current consultation period will run until 27 August, with a further consultation period to be held on the Department’s proposals later in the year.

Strong engagement

The Department has stated that it welcomed the strong engagement of the first webinar, which saw over 700 attendees tuning throughout.

The two remaining online town hall consultations will be held on Wednesday and Thursday of this week at 7pm. Register for the final two webinars here.

Farmers can submit questions before the webinar here.