Teagasc Advisory Services - Support for delivery
Information Note on aid to support the delivery of Teagasc Advisory Services in accordance with the provisions of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 702/2014 (OJ L 193 of 01.07.2014)
Provision of advisory services
Teagasc provides support in the form of advisory services (as detailed below) to SMEs (adult farmers and young entrants) active in primary agricultural production in accordance with Article 22 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 702/2014 (OJ L193 of 01.07.2014)
Teagasc is a national body established under the “Agriculture (Research, Training and Advice) Act”, 1988, to provide education, training, and advisory services in agriculture and food, and to undertake and promote agricultural research and development.
What advisory services does Teagasc provide in the Agriculture sector?
The Teagasc Advisory Service provides services to all of Ireland’s 130,000 farmers, including 40,000 direct clients. The service is delivered by specialised, qualified advisers based at some 50 offices throughout the country. The primary purpose of the advisory service is to improve the competitiveness of the agri-food sector, support sustainable farming and the environment and encourage diversification of the rural economy.
Business and Technology
Business and Technology advisers deliver a ‘Business and Technology Programme’ to farmers involved in dairy, beef, sheep and tillage enterprises. The main emphasis of the programme is on improving the competitiveness and sustainability of family farms. It maximises the use of discussion groups, demonstration farms and public events to support innovation and technology adoption. In addition to a focus on efficiency and productivity, the programme places a strong emphasis on animal health and welfare. The use of financial tools for benchmarking, budgeting and longer term planning of family farms is also emphasised.
Soils and Agri-Environment
Soils and agri-environment advisers provide support to farmers on a range of soils, environment and sustainability issues. The work programme varies geographically depending on land type and farming system. It includes the following areas:
- Soils and land improvement;
- Nutrient management / derogation planning;
- Farm Advisory Service (FAS) and cross compliance;
- GHG issues and Teagasc / Bord Bia Farm Carbon Navigator;
- Bio-diversity, heritage and landscape;
- Water framework directive and nitrates action plan revisions;
- Agricultural catchments programme messages;
- Agri-environmental schemes.
The programme involves the provision of public events and awareness and training and education on soils, environment and sustainability issues.
Public Advisory Services
The Teagasc Advisory Service provides a national information-based advisory programme to all farmers through a range of media channels, public events, discussion groups and one-on-one advice.
The programme aims to provide farm families with the necessary practices and technologies to increase farm output and reduce production costs through improved breeding, grassland management, and financial management. Other areas of particular focus include advice on soil management, agronomy, agro-chemicals, fertiliser use, GHG emissions.
Environmental Scheme Support
The Environment Advisory Service disseminates evidence-based knowledge that is designed to support the sustainable development of Irish farms in a manner that is consistent with the achievement of high-quality environmental outcomes. The following areas are a particular focus for the service:
- Support farmers participating in Agri-Environment schemes and activities;
- Improve conformity with statutory management requirements or standards for good agricultural and environment conditions;
- Support implementation and compliance with EU directives relating to nutrient management and derogation planning;
- Increase farmer and the public’s awareness of environmental issues.
Teagasc advisory activities in rural development focus on developing capacity amongst farm households to identify alternative income generating options both on and off- farm. The core programme in the Rural Development service is the “Options for Farm Families Programme”. It provides both generic skills to harness the abilities and resources within the farm household and specific business, planning and analytical skills to bring these ambitions to reality within the context of the farm. This Programme has a number of specific objectives:
- To generate awareness of the need and potential for farm families to change and develop;
- To facilitate farm families in better decision making to ensure the future viability of their farm and families;
- To facilitate farm families in identifying a viable alternative enterprise;
- To support business start-up and/or alternative enterprise establishment/development.
The Advisory Service organises public events each year including open days, farm walks, seminars, and conferences. The events are publicly advertised and open for all interested parties to attend.
General Information Actions
Teagasc Advisory Services also provide a “general information and awareness” service that is accessible to all farmers. A substantial quantity of freely available advisory information is available on the Teagasc website www.teagasc.ie. Information is also disseminated to a wide range of media outlets, including local and national radio, specialist television programmes, online media, newsletters etc.
Objective of the Advisory Service
The main objective of the advisory service is to maximise the income and sustainability of farm families within rural communities.
In accordance with Article 6 of Regulation (EU) 702/2014, this measure will only apply to aid that has an incentive effect. Aid will be considered to have an incentive effect where the SME (adult farmers and young entrants) submits a written application seeking advice to improve the economic and environmental performance as well as the climate friendliness and resilience of their undertaking or investment. The application for the aid shall contain at least the following information:
- Applicant’s name and size;
- Description of the advisory services sought, including its start and end dates;
- Location of the service;
- List of eligible costs;
- Type of service i.e. advisory service and amount of public funding needed for the service provided.
What conditions are attached?
The aid will not involve any direct payments to the SME’s active in primary agricultural production. All payments will be made in accordance with Article 22(5) of Commission Regulation (EU) No 702/2014 (OJ L193 of 01.07.2014).
In accordance with Article 22(6) of Commission Regulation (EU) No 702/2014 (OJ L193 of 01.07.2014), the advisory service will be provided by specialised and suitably qualified advisers. When providing advice, the provider of the advisory service shall respect the non-disclosure obligations referred to in Article 13(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013.
In accordance with Article 22(7) of Commission Regulation (EU) No 702/2014 (OJ L193 of 01.07.2014) the advisory service shall be accessible to all eligible SME’s, including members of producer groups and organisations, active in primary agricultural production based on objectively defined conditions.
In accordance with Article 1(5) of Commission Regulation (EU) 702/2014 (OJ L193 of 01.07.2014) aid shall be excluded in favour of undertakings subject to an outstanding recovery order following a previous Commission Decision declaring an aid illegal and incompatible with the internal market.
What is the maximum level of aid?
The aid intensity shall be limited to €1,500 per advice given in the framework of one and the same contract in accordance with Article 22(8) of Commission Regulation (EU) No 702/2014 (OJ L193 of 01.07.2014).
How to avail of support?
Farmers seeking more information on Teagasc advisory services should contact their local Teagasc office.