Farmers urged to complete Whole Farm Needs Assessment survey

Wednesday, 4 March, 2015

Following DARD’s announcement of the launch of the Whole Farm Needs Assessment survey, which is the first element of the 2014-2020 NI Rural Development Programme’s Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS), the Ulster Farmers’ Union is encouraging farmers to take part in this positive exercise and complete the survey. The Farm Business Improvement Scheme is a funding scheme currently being developed under the NI Rural Development Programme, with up to £250million to be delivered via a number of different measures and a series of tranches with the aim of helping farmers to sustainably develop their businesses.

UFU Rural Development Policy Committee Chair Alex Irwin said: “A key element of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme is a capital grants scheme and I know there are many farmers out there who are particularly interested in this. Completing this survey will help farmers prepare for any future application process as it will give them an opportunity to assess their business needs and to make a plan for farm improvement projects in advance of the scheme. Taking some time out of our busy working day to complete this survey as accurately as possible will also be of great benefit as the results will help to shape the future design of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme. By doing our bit, we will be helping DARD to better design the scheme and ensure the needs of our farming industry are properly addressed to deliver on one of the key recommendations in the Agri-Food Strategy Board’s ‘Going for Growth’ report.

“UFU members have been heavily involved in the focus groups around the design of the survey in order to ensure the forms are as simple as possible. Farmers should also be aware that submitting a completed survey is not an application for grant aid and it will have no bearing on any future applications.”

The closing date for submitting completed surveys is 3rd April 2015. To complete the survey visit and surveys can either be e-mailed or posted back to DARD.