By FWi staff

FARMERS are keen to gain computer skills to improve the way they run their businesses, according to figures from training organisation Lantra.

The SkillCheck survey was launched to identify the training needed in agriculture and horticulture to improve efficiency and competitiveness.

It is run by Lantra as part of the Governments Action Plan for Farming.

The greatest need -specified by 46% of responents – is for training to use e-mail for business transactions.

“Farmers are starting to view the computer as an essential business tool that can be used to make long-term savings,” says Lantra chairman Andy Stewart.

“It is clear that more farmers are using computers, but they are lacking in vital training.

“It is crucial that we provide them with the training that they need and help them to access funds.”

A total of 22 million will be available over a seven-year period for training providers and farming groupsOne million pounds is available for this financial year.

“Farmers are beginning to understand that, if they seek training, it will lead to better running of the farm business and, ultimately, cost savings,” adds Mr Stewart.