23 October 1998

One-stop plan

PLANS have been announced that will see the establishment of three regional centres providing farmers with a one-stop shop for information exchange, co-operative data management, business consultancy and practical help.

A pilot project is already under way and scheme organisers, the Hill Farming Initiative and the Workers Educational Association, hope to secure EU funds to expand.

A telephone helpline will allow farmers to share ideas, concerns and problems, while assistance with record keeping, and computer training will also be on offer.

The HFI believes that by having access to shared equipment, knowledge and labour, the participating farmers should be able to save costs and maximise returns.

The objective is also to help farmers acquire skills which they will be able to transfer to other jobs, if necessary.