IFA Rural Development Chairman, Flor McCarthy has said the Knowledge Transfer measure which was announced recently by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must operate effectively for farmers and must not be tied up in bureaucracy.
Flor McCarthy said the IFA had already expressed serious concern with regard to the payment structure and mechanism in earlier discussions with the Department of Agriculture. The split of payment of €750/€500 between the farmers and the facilitators is wrong and should be weighted more heavily towards the farmer.
Furthermore, he said the payment mechanism through the facilitator is fraught with danger as it removes the traditional direct payment system to the farmer from the Department of Agriculture.
IFA will be insisting that the Department of Agriculture monitors this new process as it is open to manipulation with farmers being put in a very weak position with regard the normal farmers/facilitator/planner relationship.
Flor McCarthy said there is €100m available for Knowledge Transfer in 2014-2020 RDP and it is important that all sectors of agriculture benefit from this important measure.