The proposed new Knowledge Transfer (KT) Programme which will be introduced under the CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027 has a funding allocation of €71.1m and will run for three years. It will offer participants a payment of €750 per annum while facilitators will be paid €500 per annum.

The terms and conditions are not expected to be published in the short term given that it will be May 2023 before the programme opens for expressions of interest. An outline of the scheme metrics was, however, presented by the Department of Agriculture during a Farm Advisory System (FAS) schemes information webinar held by the Department of Agriculture in December.

It will be meeting-based and run for three years, starting in January 2024. There will be eight meetings per year. Four meetings must be based on a topic from a list of mandatory priority topics and one of these meetings must include an external expert on the chosen topic.

The focus of the other four meetings will be on topics selected by the group. In addition to these eight group meetings, each participant will be required to have a one-to-one meeting between the facilitator and participant.

Significant changes

There are a number of significant changes compared to the last KT programme. Attendance at national events will not suffice to fill the requirement for a meeting. Nominees are also no longer permitted to satisfy attendance at a meeting; the participant must attend the meeting in person.

Groups will not be limited to sector-specific formation and, as listed above, groups can be formed across sectors as long as they meet the objectives of discussing four priority topics and four topics based on local needs decided by the group itself. The average size of groups is specified at an average of 15 members and in another change members can only participate in one group. In the previous KT programme members could participate in more than one group but the payment for the second group was halved for the participant and facilitator to €375 and €250, respectively.

Farm plan removal

The number of meetings participants must attend has increased from five meetings/approved national events to eight meetings. However, two significant components of the last KT scheme have been removed. These are the requirement for a farm improvement plan and an animal health component.

The farm plan was a key component and consisted of the completion of an E-Profit monitor, grassland management plan, animal health measures, carbon navigator and health and safety. The animal health measure also presented a cost to the participant as it was required to be completed with a Department of Agriculture-approved KT private veterinary practitioner in year one and updated on an annual basis thereafter.

Application process

The application system will open for expressions of interest in May 2023. Then in September 2023 approved facilitators will be required to submit their groups via an online system. The registration portal for meetings opens in December 2023, with meetings starting on 1 January 2024.