Northern Ireland’s Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has extended the closing date for applications to the Business Development Groups (BDGs) Scheme, during a visit to CAFRE’s Greenmount Campus.

Minister Poots said: “I am pleased to announce that the closing date for the BDGs Scheme has been extended by one week to 4:00pm on Friday, January 31, 2020, to facilitate additional applications.

“This is the fifth application window to the BDG Scheme and there has been a positive response to-date. However, I would encourage all farmers who are not already in a group to apply before the new closing date.

The addition of an environmental option within this tranche demonstrates my department’s focus to deliver productive agriculture in line with enhanced environmental benefit.

“The Business Development Groups Scheme has delivered benefits to many farm businesses by bringing small groups of farmers together locally, to enhance their knowledge of business management, the environment and innovative ways of working.

“Now is the time to take up the opportunity to join the scheme and become a member of a group near you.”

How to sign up

For further information on the Business Development Groups Scheme, can be found on the CAFRE website. Alternatively, those interested can call: 028-9442-6790; or e-mail: [email protected].

Assistance with completing online applications is available at all DAERA Direct offices during opening hours and additional support is available between 5:00pm and 8:00pm at Loughry Campus on Wednesday, January 29.

Knowledge transfer through the Business Development Groups is partly funded by the EU through the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.