AgriSearch seeks farmers’ views on its work

Northern Ireland agricultural research body AgriSearch is seeking farmers’ views on its work as part of a wide-ranging review of its research and development, and knowledge exchange strategy.

AgriSearch was formed in 1997 to provide a mechanism through which beef, dairy and sheep farmers could have direct involvement in production-orientated research.

Funds contributed to AgriSearch are used to commission research into the improvement and development of beef, sheep and dairy farming.

The review aims to ensure AgriSearch’s work programme remains focused and relevant to the industry and that it continues to deliver value for money for its farmer levy payers.

As a first step in this review, AgriSearch is launching a farmer survey to obtain the views of its levy payers.

The results of this will inform the research and development activities which AgriSearch will undertake over the next five to 10 years and how the findings of this research will be communicated to farmers.

This will be followed by engagement with other stakeholders including farming bodies, food processors, consumer groups and others.

AgriSearch chairman Seamus McCaffrey said: “AgriSearch has continually adapted to meet the needs of the agri-food industry and deliver value for money for its farmer levy payers.

“AgriSearch recognises that these are rapidly changing times for farming and food.

The strategy review process will help ensure that we use our limited levy income to best effect to deliver productivity gains and improved returns on-farm.

“We will be engaging with a wide range of stakeholders as part of this review process, but we are particularly keen to get the views of our farmer levy payers.

“All dairy, beef and sheep farmers are invited and encouraged to complete the online survey which can be accessed on the AgriSearch website. The closing date for the farmer survey is June 21.

“The results of this survey will help guide our future activities so it is important that as many farmers as possible input into this process and give us their views on the main challenges facing farming and food and how AgriSearch can use its resources to best effect,” McCaffrey concluded.