Teagasc slammed on charges to farmers

Dermot Connolly (centre) from Aughrim, pictured with his son Grellán Ó Conghaile, was the winner of the senior Galway Ram Class at Mount Briscoe Rare & Traditional Breeds Show held in Daingean, Co. Offaly. Also in picture is Paddy Glynn from Ahascragh and Sean Kilkelly from Ahenry, who were also winners in the Galway Sheep section. PHOTO: HANY MARZOUK.
Dermot Connolly (centre) from Aughrim, pictured with his son Grellán Ó Conghaile, was the winner of the senior Galway Ram Class at Mount Briscoe Rare & Traditional Breeds Show held in Daingean, Co. Offaly. Also in picture is Paddy Glynn from Ahascragh and Sean Kilkelly from Ahenry, who were also winners in the Galway Sheep section. PHOTO: HANY MARZOUK.

THE farm advisory body, Teagasc, have been accused of ‘milking the cow dry’ with the fees that they’re charging farmers who participate in the KT (Knowledge Transfer) scheme.

Independent Roscommon-Galway TD, Michael Fitzmaurice, said that the story of the implementation of the KT was getting worse as the months went by.

He said that he had received a number of calls from irate farmers who were receiving membership bills from Teagasc as well as having €500 ‘docked’ from their KT payment before they ever received it.

“Teagasc are getting €500 per person to deliver this Knowledge Transfer scheme, and thirdly, the farmers have different planners to do their other work and who charge no fee other than price per scheme.

“This has to be viewed in the context of Teagasc getting over €6 million EU funds from CAP and also other funding to cover these courses” he said.

“Do Teagasc think that they can milk the cow dry with this totally unacceptable carry on?

“I’m also getting feedback that farmers’ Knowledge Transfer money will not be processed if this so-called membership fee is not paid – I think that is outlandish and totally unacceptable behaviour.

“I have no problem if a farmer is in BPS and Glas and talking to a Teagasc adviser regularly then a membership fee is acceptable.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.