Farming families to benefit from digital skills training

Launch this Monday in Hannon’s Hotel

The EU requires 75% of Basic Payment Scheme beneficiaries to apply online in 2017, and 100% in 2018. In 2015, approximately 70% of Irish farmers (93,000) applied online for various schemes, etc. delivered by the Department of Agriculture.  However, given that more than half (51.4%) of all farm holders in 2010 were aged 55 years or older (Census of Agriculture 2010), achieving 100% compliance will be very difficult. 

  The statistics for Co. Roscommon show that the percentage of farmers over 55 years in 2010 was 54.4%, higher than the national average. Farmer’s age, length of time away from education, perceived time it takes to learn a new skill and time allocated to training away from the farm are only some of the proven barriers to computerised usage amongst the farming community.

  In order to address this issue, Roscommon LEADER Partnership supported by the Department of Agriculture, Teagasc, IFA, ICSA, ICOS, ICA, Macra Na Feirme and Bank of Ireland has designed a Digital Pilot Training Programme for farm families in the county specifically aimed at encouraging farmers to learn how to operate their Agfood website on line. In addition to this banking on line training will also be provided showing individuals how to conduct their financial business on line in a safe and efficient manner.  

  A funding application has being submitted to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to assist in the roll out of this initiative. This Department has being hugely supportive in promoting digital skills for farmers and will be officially launched by Denis Naughten, TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment next Monday, October 3rd in Hannon’s Hotel, Roscommon and everybody is welcome to attend.