Farmers throughout Wales are being urged to examine their business performance closely and find out how they can tackle the critical issue of reducing production costs by attending the next round of Farming Connect ‘Farming for the Future’ regional roadshow events.
Each of the evening events will feature presentations and tips from a speaker line-up that includes some of Wales’ top-performing farmers, whose focus will be on encouraging farmers to find out how benchmarking helped them transform their own on-farm efficiency and increase profit levels. The events will run at locations throughout Wales from 17 January to 1 February 2018.
Also high on the agenda will be promotion of the third application window for the Welsh Government’s Farm Business Grant (FBG) investment scheme, which will run from 29 January to 16 March 2018.
The scheme, which has already received more than 850 applications for funding, provides a contribution of between £3,000 and £12,000 for eligible farmers. The funding can be used towards the capital outlay for around 70 specified items linked to animal health; genetics and performance; crop management; energy efficiency; resource efficiency and ICT.
In future, all eligible farmers will need to apply for the FBG through Rural Payments Wales’ RPW Online service, the Welsh Government’s online portal for farm businesses. Detailed information on the scheme, eligibility criteria and the new application processes is available at http://gov.wales/topics/environmentcountryside/farmingandcountryside/cap/ruraldevelopment/wales-rural-development-programme-2014-2020/farm-business-grant-scheme/?lang=en
Attending one of the roadshows is a requirement of any individual considering applying for the grant. Farmers who have already attended a ‘Farming for the Future’ event, do not need to attend again, but are encouraged to do so in order to learn more about benchmarking and how it can support business performance.
“Equally significant to the number of applications for funding following the first two application windows, was the sharp increase in demand for Farming Connect services which followed each roadshow event,” said Mrs. Elliw Hughes, services manager with Menter a Busnes which delivers Farming Connect on behalf of the Welsh Government.
“We saw a significant spike in applications for fully or part-funded business and technical support and the many ways in which Farming Connect can support this, in particular, through the Advisory Service, which provides eligible businesses with up to four instances of advice over a four year period.”
For dates and locations of each Farming for the Future event, visit www.gov.wales/farmingconnect. Booking in advance is essential either via the website or call the Farming Connect Service Centre on 08456 000 813.
Doors will open for mandatory signing in at 7pm, each event will begin at 7.30 and is expected to end around 9.30pm.