The Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine (DAFM) has launched its ACRES Training Scheme, which will provide specialist training to farmers in the €1.5 billion flagship agri-environment scheme.
As previously reported by That’s Farming, some 46,000 farmers have commenced their contracts under ACRES, and the purpose of this ACRES Training Scheme (ATS) is to increase farmer knowledge on the way in which ACRES actions are to implemented.
The ACRES Training Scheme (ATS) is accordingly being provided to enable ACRES participants to fulfil this requirement.
Participants in ACRES are required to attend a mandatory training course within their first year of participation in ACRES.
This, according to the DAFM, is to facilitate knowledge transfer and acquisition of information on specific actions, complemented by online demonstrations/advice on good environmental practices.
ACRES Training Courses
The ACRES Training Scheme provides two types of training courses, namely:
- The compulsory/mandatory course to be undertaken by ACRES participants within their first year of participation in ACRES; and
- A voluntary course, one of which may be undertaken by ACRES participants in the third year of their participation in ACRES.
The training under ATS will be facilitated by approved ACRES trainers, with courses to be provided throughout the country.
The DAFM is currently in the process of training ACRES advisors who have expressed an interest in being ACRES trainers.
When approved, ACRES trainers will be able to commence holding courses for ACRES participants “by the end of this month”, the DAFM has confirmed to this publication.
The objectives of the scheme are to:
- Increase farmers’ understanding of climate change, the impact of farming activities on natural resources and the protection of biodiversity at farm level;
- Outline how the actions undertaken as part of ACRES will address the environmental, climate and biodiversity-related challenges in the SWOT analysis undertaken as part of Ireland’s preparation of its CAP Strategic Plan;
- Educate farmers on how to appropriately implement the ACRES actions; thereby equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to optimise delivery and continue the ongoing management of the commitments undertaken;
- Facilitate the implementation of sustainable farming practices and improve farmers’ knowledge of farm safety priorities.
Reimbursement per attendee shall be in the amount of €156, while the ACRES trainer payment shall be €90 per DAFM-validated attendee.
Read article on That’s Farming: Up to €2,700/course for ACRES course