Learning Works: Farmers Grab Skills for New Business Options

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), May 5, 2004 | Go to article overview

Learning Works: Farmers Grab Skills for New Business Options


Groups of farmers across Wales are sharpening their business skills in preparation for a more entrepreneurial future, thanks to a pioneering programme designed to provide new economic options for the agricultural community.

The scheme --Agrisgop --aims to develop managers and entrepreneurs in the countryside through ``action learning'', a process under which farmers gain new business skills by working in small groups under the guidance of trained leaders.

It is hoped the new skills will help farmers to develop their existing farm business or explore new agriculture related avenues to generate income. Delivered on behalf of ELWa by enterprise agencies Menter aBusnes and ADAS Cymruwith European Social Fund support, the popular scheme is on target to establish 65 groups across the country inits first year.

One of the hotbeds of this new entrepreneurial activity is the Conwy Valley,where local Agrisgop leader Meinir Evans is in the process of forming her third group.

Each farmer joins the programme with a business idea, problem or opportunity,which they can discuss, develop or overcome. At the end of each group session, they go away with a plan of action, which they complete by the next meeting.

The first group formed by Meinir, who works for Menter aBusnes, is cultivating new farm tourism ideas and she is hoping to link up with a similar Irish group to share business ideas and experience.

``Weare looking at new ways to generate income from farm tourism by maximising the potential for locally produced food and entertainment in holiday packages,'' explained Meinir,a farmer'swife from Llanrwst. …

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