Approximately 5% of the 30,000 farmers who applied to the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) have decided to leave the scheme, the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney revealed in the Dail this week.
The scheme was launched on May 5 last as part of Ireland’s rural development programme (RDP) and involves funding of some €300m over six years.
Scheme participants will receive a payment of €142.50 for the first 6.66ha and €120 for each hectare thereafter, up to a maximum payable hectarage.
That is the equivalent of about €95/cow for the first number of animals. In return for this payment, participants will be required to undertake six actions, some of which will be well known to suckler farmers through their participation in previous schemes.
The Minister said in the Dail that the number of those who have since exited the scheme, equivalent to about 5% of applicants, He said this is more or less in line with previous suckler-based schemes run by the Department.
The table below outlines per county the number of applicants and the numbers of farmers who have withdrawn.
Also in the Dail this week the Minster said that the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) has issued every scheme applicant with detailed reports of the current status of animals in their herds.
“Participants will receive similar information about the scheme and their individual herd on an ongoing basis.
“This is in addition to a training programme which will be rolled out over the next 12 months. I have also announced a series of information meetings for participating farmers which will commence next week,” he said.
Minister Coveney said it is clear from “the large number” of applications received for the BDGP that farmers recognise the benefits the scheme can deliver locally and nationally.