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Gildernew praises success of diversification challenge programme participants

29 May, 2008


Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA has commended the success of farmers and members of farm families on the Diversification Challenge Programmes.

The Minister was commenting ahead of the seventh Diversification Challenge awards ceremony at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE). The certificates were presented to candidates who completed programmes during the past year. There have been over 1,200 enrolments on CAFRE's 3 Diversification Challenge programmes since their inception.

The Minister said:

"I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate all those who have undertaken a Diversification Challenge programme through CAFRE. Successful completion of these programmes is a significant step for any farmer or farm family member who is starting up a new rural enterprise and I am always very impressed with the range of business ideas which emerge from these programmes."

The Diversification Challenge programmes are specifically designed to meet the needs of members of farm families who are planning and establishing new rural enterprises. CAFRE staff deliver the programmes at venues across the North and they provide participants with a unique opportunity to acquire new skills and apply them to develop their businesses.

The Minister added:

"The level of commitment to complete these programmes is a great achievement. I wish you every success for the future and hope that the skills that you have developed prove beneficial."

Challenges also provide participants with a social and informal environment for the exchange of ideas, information and experience. Rural Enterprise advisers support delivery of the Diversification Challenge by providing individual mentoring to participants.

Note to Editors

The certificates were presented by Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA at an awards ceremony on 28 May 2008 at CAFRE's Loughry Campus in Cookstown, Co. Tyrone.

Awards will be presented for successful participants in the following categories: the Diversification Challenge - Business Planning; Diversification Challenge - Business Start; and the Diversification Challenge - Business Start Follow-on Programmes.

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