Deputy Claims Farmers Confused at Teagasc Fees Re KTprogramme - Teagasc says it was Explained to Them
Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy claims there is confusion surrounding the fees which are been charged by Teagasc for farmers taking part in the Knowledge Transfer (KT) programme.
He says he has been contacted by a number of farmers who are being charged up to €460 to be a part of the Teagasc Knowledge Transfer programme. The farmers, he says, were not notified of the fees before they entered the programme and are now being told that if the fees are not paid their paperwork will be withheld from the Department of Agriculture until the fees are paid in full.
The deputy told Midwest News today that Teagasc has been paid a membership fee of €500 by the Department of Agriculture for each member entering the group and it was the understanding of the farmers that this covered all administration fees. They have now received a bill for the group planner and administration costs, however most farmers already employ consultants to generate the paperwork and therefore the fee they are been asked to pay Teagasc is technically for doing work that is already done so it is grossly unfair and needs to be remedied.
He is now seeking clarification in relation to the fees structure from the Department of Agriculture to ascertain what exactly the farmers are paying for in relation to the administration costs.
Midwest News contacted Teagasc today and asked for a response to this situation surrounding the KT programme.
Billy Kelleher is the organisation’s Regional Manager for Cork West and he insisted that farmers did know they had to pay a fee to be a member of Teagasc, to take part in this scheme and said that was explained to them at a series of public meetings on the programme.