Teagasc has, to date, received almost 2,500 expressions of interest for Green Cert courses around the country.

It says that the demand for part time and Distance Education Green Cert courses has arisen from young farmers applying to the National Reserve and Young Farmer Scheme.

Tony Pettit, Head of Education in Teagasc, said the peak volume of requests were received prior to March 31, which was the closing date for applications by farmers to the National Reserve.

However, he said that Teagasc is still receiving some requests for Green Cert courses from farmers interested in the Young Farmer Scheme which will not close until May.

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The final gross number is expected to be higher than 2,500. This is considerably higher than the usual annual demand for Green Cert courses, according to Teagasc.

At this point, Teagasc says it does not know how many of these will be successful in their scheme application to the Department of Agriculture, so the final number undertaking the courses could change.

Pettit also said that the numbers are on top of the extra students that are currently in the system on the part time and Distance Education courses with Teagasc

“The level of demand is also on top of the full-time agriculture college courses, where demand is at this point unchanged over the high demand of recent years.”