NI’s Business Development Groups Scheme reopens for applications

Northern Ireland’s Business Development Groups Scheme will reopen for applications on Tuesday, February 12, CAFRE has announced.

The small groups bring together farmers and growers to share ideas on how they can improve the performance of their businesses.

The scheme aims to enhance their knowledge of business management, new technologies and innovative ways of working.

College of Agri-Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) director, Martin McKendry, urged all eligible farmers to apply.

He said: “CAFRE launched the Business Development Groups Scheme in November 2015 and to date, it has been a real success.

Feedback from farmers participating in the scheme has been very positive. Farmers particularly enjoy learning from each other at training events held on their own farms.

“They can use the specialist knowledge of their facilitator to help them improve the efficiency of their businesses.

“Farmers and growers, who have previously missed the chance to join a local Business Development Group, can now submit an application.”

What’s involved?

Farmers who participate in the BDG Scheme will be offered the chance to attend at least six training events each year.

Applicants must be willing to undertake physical and financial benchmarking, share their farm performance information with other group members and be willing to host a visit for the group.

During group meetings, members discuss their technical performance and progress towards improving their business. As farmers work towards meeting their business objectives, they will have the opportunity to get credit for their work and gain a Level 3 qualification.

To apply for the Business Development Groups scheme or for further information visit the CAFRE website or call CAFRE on: 028-9442-6790.

This call for applications will close on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, at 4:00pm.