Farmer dissatisfaction with the Knowledge Transfer (KT) Programme is continuing, with the Department of Agriculture confirming that another small cohort of farmers has left the programme.

An update from the Department shows that 15 more farmers have left the programme. As of the end of February, 30 farmers had notified the Department of their decision to leave. Some 20,000 farmers are registered in the 1,187 KT groups.

The Department also confirmed that the closing date of 31 May still stands and clarified the position for farmers who want to leave the programme after year one.

A spokesman said that if a farmer participant has fulfilled his commitment in year one of the programme, he would be paid accordingly.

“While a Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application is a payment requirement for some KT sectors, there is no impact on BPS payment should a farmer decide to leave the KT Programme,” he confirmed.

Online system

Meanwhile, the online systems for the Farm Improvement Plan and the Animal Health/Vet portal are currently in testing and will be released shortly.

“In the meantime, facilitators have been completing the work required for many elements of the Farm Improvement Programme with a view to then uploading the key data points required onto the online system once live.”