Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture (DAERA) is seeking the best examples of environmentally-friendly farms to join its new Technology Demonstration Farm network.

It hopes to appoint six new farmers to demonstrate environmental technologies as part of the latest stage of the programme.

The programme will run under two themes:

  • Farm Habitat Creation; and
  • Management and Efficient Sustainability.

Farmers are eligible to apply for more than one theme but can only be appointed under one theme.

Within each theme, there is a list of proven technologies that should currently be used on the farm – such as woodland establishment technology, efficient nutrient use equipment, carbon footprinting, and riparian margin technology.

Farmers who meet the eligibility criteria and are shortlisted will be assessed by a panel during a visit to their farm.

What’s involved?

The role of the host farmers is to showcase the use of innovative technologies on their farms.

The aim is to encourage a greater rate of technology adoption in Northern Ireland as research shows that early adopters play an important role in convincing their peers to take more innovative approaches.

Selected farms will be expected to host between eight and 12 farm visits a year, with a hosting payment of £600 for each visit.

CAFRE technologists and scheme support staff will help the farmer prepare to host visits and a support assistant will be available to help them with each visit.

CAFRE will also support the farms by analysing their technology’s performance, providing diagnostic testing and arranging, where appropriate, for specialists to visit and speak on their farm.

The new scheme is part of the NI Rural Development Programme and is funded by DAERA and the EU.

Applications will open on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, and close at 4:00pm on Friday, April 30, 2021.