May 012015

The payment made under the Knowledge Transfer Scheme to farmers should be paid directly to the farmer by the Department and the farmer should not be dependent on the advisor making the payment, according to Mr. John Comer, President of ICMSA.   It is totally unacceptable that under the scheme, the €750 payment per farmer will be paid to the facilitator of the Group and the farmer will then have to wait for the facilitator to pay him/her.   Such a system does not reflect the so called simplification agenda at EU level at this time and is a significant departure from the normal system of payment where a farmer is now relying on a third party to make a payment from a Department scheme.

While welcoming the announcement by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine regarding the opening of the Knowledge Transfer Scheme, a scheme that all farmers should consider given its benefits from a farming and personal perspective, Mr. Comer said, that it makes no sense that the farmer will not be paid directly by the Department.   At a time when the EU is talking up simplification, it would appear that yet again, actions say otherwise and what we now have is complication rather than simplification when the simple fact should be that the farmer should be paid directly by the Department.

The simplification agenda is hugely important to farmers but yet again, ICMSA, Mr. Comer said, is very concerned that schemes are being made more complicated, more costly for no obvious reason or benefit and this needs to change.   The payment should be made directly to the farmer and Mr. Comer concluded by calling on the Minister to make this simple change.

ENDS.   01 May 2015.

John Comer  (087) 2057846

President ICMSA


Cathal MacCarthy (087) 6168758

ICMSA Press Office