Benefits of BDGs to local farms

CAFRE launched the Business Development Groups Scheme in November 2015 and from then, over 3000 farmers have participated in the scheme and over 2500 training events have taken place on local farms.

In 2015, this was a new approach to learning which has allowed farmers to share their experiences and knowledge and this has brought about many benefits to the scheme participants. Farmers in Business Development Groups (BDG) have reported that they really enjoy working with each other and have learned a lot from BDG training events which are usually held on the farm of a fellow group member. This means they can see what the host farmer has done to try to improve their business and, as a group, learn about new ways of working which they could introduce to their own farm.

The Scheme has already had a major impact on participating businesses. Since it began, over 2500 technologies have been adopted by BDG members, over 2000 businesses have benchmarked their financial performance and over 400 members have enrolled for the Level 3 qualification.

Regular feedback from BDG members indicates that almost 80% say that the scheme has already helped them develop their business. Farmers also stated that the most important benefits of the participating in the scheme is the opportunity to learn from other farmers and spending time with like-minded people.

Business Development Groups are of interest to all farmers who would like to improve the efficiency of their farm, but are unsure about how best to achieve this. As part of a Business Development Group, farmers develop the knowledge and skills to assess how their farm is performing and, with the help of a CAFRE Adviser, plan for the future development of their farm business.

Visit www.cafre.ac.uk/business-development-groups to find out more information about Business Development Groups and register your interest in joining the scheme.

The Business Development Groups scheme is part-funded by the EU through the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Photo: Farmers enjoy learning from each other at BDG training events.
  2. College of Agriculture Food & Rural enterprise (CAFRE) is responsible for the delivery of the Knowledge Transfer, Innovation and Cooperation – Business Development Groups.
  3. For more information on the Business Development Groups Scheme, please e-mail admin@daera-ni.gov.uk or call Knowledge Transfer Administration on 028 9442 6790.
  4. For media enquiries please contact DAERA Press Office 028 9052 4619 or email: press-office@daera-ni.gov.uk. Out of hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.
  5. The Business Development Groups Scheme is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
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