Farmers toying with the prospects of entering the DAFM’s new €260 million five-year SCEP (Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme) have raised concerns over what they understand to be no payment provision for participation in training days/courses and no allowance for a nominee to attend such training on a herdowner’s behalf.
Following the publication of a series of articles on the new suckler scheme – which is the BDGP’s replacement in the new CAP – That’s Farming has been contacted by a number of farmer readers who have queried why these are among the finer details of the scheme’s ‘small print’ – terms and conditions.
As outlined in this news article on That’s Farming, under the BDGP, farmers received €166 upon completion of training and could select a nominee – a family member or partner – to attend the training on their behalf.
Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme
That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, pressed the issue with the DAFM, a spokesperson for which explained that firstly, the objective of the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) is to provide support to beef farmers to improve the environmental sustainability of the national beef herd.
The programme, the spokesperson outlined, aims to build on the gains delivered in recent years through the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme (BEEP) by improving the genetic merit of the Irish suckler herd.
Applicants must attend the SCEP training, which is designed to provide an introduction to SCEP, including the terms and conditions of the scheme and information on livestock handling and farm safety in recognition of the dangers posed by farming.
The SCEP training must be completed by November 15th, 2024.
The spokesperson outlined:
“There is no payment for attending the SCEP training as the payment has been built into the SCEP payment over the course of the 5-year contract.”
“The payment per hectare in SCEP is considerably higher than the BDGP payment at €225 per hectare for the first 15 hectares and €180 per hectare, thereafter, up to the maximum payable area compared to €142.50 per hectare for the first 6.66 hectares in BDGP and €120 per hectare for the remaining hectares up to the maximum payable area.”
“As set out in the terms and conditions of SCEP, the actual participant or beneficiary under the scheme must be in attendance for the course.”
“They will be required to show proof of ID and sign in and out. Nominees cannot attend in place of the participant.”
“The beneficiary of the programme (the person receiving the money from the department) is the person who signed up to the programme and has agreed to undertake all the requirements of the programme, including the training.”
“The participant may bring another person with them to attend the training courses if they so wish.”
“Further details on SCEP training will be made available later in 2023,” the spokesperson concluded.