McIlveen announces opening of second tranche of Business Development Groups

Date published: 08 November 2016


Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen has announced that applications to the Business Development Group (BDG) programme will reopen to dairy and pig farmers on 16 November 2016.

The BDG Programme is one of the Knowledge Transfer schemes which are partly funded through the Rural Development Programme. Applications for this second phase will close at 4pm on 30 November 2016.

Urging all dairy and pig farmers to apply, Michelle McIlveen said:  "The last few years have been extremely challenging for many dairy and pig farms with the prolonged period of depressed farm gate prices.

“Reopening the BDG Programme to farmers within these sectors will enhance the package of support available from my Department. Both sectors are reliant on high levels of financial investment to maintain their level of efficiency.

“These local development groups are designed to help farmers come together with their peers, to learn about and enhance their knowledge of business management, new technologies and innovative ways of working. I therefore urge our dairy and pig farmers to apply to the BDG Programme.”

To make an application to the Business Development Group Programme between 16 November and 4pm on 30 November 2016 or to find out further information about BDGs visit the CAFRE website or call 028 9442 6790 or e-mail

Notes to editors: 

  1. Farmers who participate in the BDG Programme will be required to attend eight training events each year. In addition to this they must be willing to undertake physical and financial benchmarking; share their farm performance information with other group members and be willing to host a visit for the group. Group discussions will provide a forum to discuss technical performance and progress towards meeting business objectives. As farmers work towards meeting their business objectives, they will have the opportunity to accredit their learning and gain a Level 3 qualification.
  2. The Programme will reopen to allow 250 dairy farmers and 30 pig producers to take part in Business Development Groups.
  3. Participants will be eligible to claim costs incurred for hosting a visit, replacement labour while they attend training events and travel to and from training events.
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  5. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press Office: Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.


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