Minister Poots extends closing date to Business Development Groups Scheme

Date published: 22 January 2020

Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister, Edwin Poots, has extended the closing date for applications to the Business Development Groups (BDGs) Scheme, during a visit to CAFRE’s Greenmount Campus.

DAERA Minister Edwin Poots encourages farm businesses to apply to the Business Development Groups Scheme before the extended closing date of 4pm on Friday 31 January 2020. Also pictured are Martin McKendry, CAFRE Director, and Fiona Dickson, CAFRE

Minister Poots said; “I am pleased to announce that the closing date for the BDGs Scheme has been extended by one week to 4pm on Friday 31 January 2020 to facilitate additional applications. This is the fifth application window to the BDG Scheme and there has been a positive response to date.

However, I would encourage all farmers who are not already in a Group to apply before the new closing date. The addition of an environmental option within this tranche demonstrates my Department’s focus to deliver productive agriculture in line with enhanced environmental benefit.

“The Business Development Groups Scheme has delivered benefits to many farm businesses by bringing small groups of farmers together locally, to enhance their knowledge of business management, the environment and innovative ways of working. Now is the time to take up the opportunity to join the Scheme and become a member of a Group near you.”

For further information on the Business Development Groups Scheme, visit  or call 028 9442 6790 or e-mail

Assistance with completing on-line applications is available at all DAERA Direct offices during opening hours and additional support is available between 5pm and 8pm at Loughry Campus on Wednesday 29 January. 

Knowledge Transfer through Business Development Groups (BDGs) is a Scheme partly funded by the EU through the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

Notes to editors: 

1.  The Environmental Farming option has been added to bring benefits to the countryside through environmental land management.

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 or call Knowledge Transfer Administration on 028 9442 6790.

4.  For media enquiries please contact DAERA Press Office 028 9052 4619 or email: .Out of hours contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

5. The Business Development Groups Scheme is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

6. Follow DAERA on Twitter at: and Facebook at:

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