25 JULY 2017
ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock has welcomed the announcement that the deadline for herd health and farm plans under the Knowledge Transfer Scheme has been extended to 21 August. However, he cautioned that this cannot be allowed to delay payments to farmers. “ICSA insists that the €750 payment must be delivered on time. While the extension is welcome, it cannot be allowed to provide an excuse for late payments.”
Mr Sherlock added that the extension demonstrates again that schemes are being devised which are far too complex for the payments involved. There is not enough thought about whether advisors or Department resources are able to meet the challenges of actually delivering results.
“The Knowledge Transfer Scheme is a particularly bad case in point where a mediocre payment of €750 is involved. In order to get this, the farmer must attend meetings, pay up to €200 for a herd health plan and typically up to €300 for a planner/advisor. Yet it is now clear that planners and vets are struggling to meet deadlines and we will soon see if the Department has resolved the debacle that applied to GLAS last year.”