Over €4.5m in CAP funding, split between two Knowledge Transfer spending headings, went to farm advisers in the year up to 15 October 2023, according to the latest list of CAP beneficiaries published by the Department of Agriculture.

Some €4.3m was paid out to 78 beneficiaries under the Knowledge Transfer and information actions heading, while a combined €156,000 was received by 10 beneficiaries for knowledge exchange and dissemination of information.

Around 28% of the total spend went to Teagasc in payments of approximately €1.3m.

Cork-based private farm consultancy group Owen O’Driscoll and associates are listed as the second largest beneficiary of Knowledge Transfer funding under the CAP. The group, which was established by former president of the Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) Owen O’Driscoll, received €256,000.

Leitrim’s Ray Gilmartin Ltd claimed €138,000, Donegal’s Williams & Walsh drew down €115,600 and Longford’s Thomas Vincent Quinn received another €114,000 for Knowledge Transfer activities.

Another former ACA president, Tom Canning from Cavan, also received total funding of over €100,000.

New CAP scheme

Around 7,600 farmers have applied to take part in the Knowledge Transfer programme in the new CAP, which will run until 2026.

Participating farmers can receive €750 for participating in a Knowledge Transfer group, while advisers running those groups will receive €500/farmer participant. This leaves the new scheme set to pay farmers a total of €5.7m of CAP funds for each year of the scheme and advisers a total of €3.8m annually.