The report suggests the setting up of a series of monitor partnership farms and case studies on successful farm partnerships to act as models for those new to the concept.
NRN also suggests promoting the partnership model to discussion groups, especially groups involved in the dairy efficiency and beef technology adoption programmes.
The report, Potential of Farm Partnerships, was drawn up by a working group of key stakeholders, chaired by Tom Kirley, former acting director of Teagasc. The report was compiled by Pat Bogue of the NRN.
“Our research showed a lack of knowledge among farmers about the concept and benefits of partnerships,” said Dr Bogue. “There is a widespread belief that partnerships are mainly about accessing additional milk quota and have little application to drystock farmers.
“Individuals involved in partnerships felt they were disadvantaged in areas such as REPS, disadvantaged areas payments, and farm investment grants. There is also a concern that entering a partnership may lead to a loss of individual single farm payment entitlements following CAP reform in 2013.”
The report states that while partnerships have clear advantages in improving lifestyle, building farm scale and facilitating young entrants to farming, there is a distinct lack of awareness as well as suspicion among the general farming public.