AGRICULTURE and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill met this week with representatives of the Countryside Agri-Rural Partnership.
In 2009 the group was awarded the contract to deliver a number of schemes under Axis 1 of the Rural Development Programme. The schemes within Axis 1 are designed to provide essential training and important capital investment to farms across Northern Ireland.
Speaking after the meeting, the minister said: “To date over 2,700 farms have benefited from capital investment through the Farm Modernisation Programme and the Manure Efficiency Technology Sub-programme. The training elements of Axis 1 are also helping to improve the competitiveness of farm and horticulture businesses through the provision of a range of innovative and focused training.
“The Countryside Agri-Rural Partnership is a consortium led by Countryside Services Ltd (CSL) and working together with the Rural Development Council and Ai Services.
“I would like to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of each of the partners that make up the Countryside Agri-Rural Partnership in delivering these schemes. Capital investment and training are key components of a successful and sustainable agricultural industry and I would encourage farmers and farm families to contact the Partnership to find out how they can benefit from these schemes.”
The overall budget for the schemes delivered by the partnership is £27.09 million. The Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.