Students attending agriculture colleges have been assured that they will avail of key supports in the same way as other students.
Issues arose recently over Teagasc students not being eligible for Higher Education grants as part of the Budget 2021 fund, as the courses fall under the remit of the Department of Agriculture.
Following intervention by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, Teagasc has now confirmed that it will fund a COVID-19 support payment to Teagasc students as well as providing a Teagasc laptop loan scheme.
Many Donegal students travel to Teagasc Ballyhaise Agricultural College each year to carry out the next step in their in agricultural education. The Minister said this new support will be of huge benefit to these young farmers.
Minister McConalogue said he is delighted to see the initiative come to fruition. He thanked Teagasc for being able to put the scheme together and he also paid tribute to Macra na Feirme.
“I made this a clear priority in recent weeks as I did not want agriculture students to be treated differently. My Department has been working closely with Teagasc since October to set up this new initiative.
“Our agriculture students are the future generation of Irish farmers and they will be the lifeblood of the farming sector in the future. The adoption of digital technology is continuing at a pace in Irish agriculture and I am committed to ensuring Teagasc learners are best equipped to embrace this digital transformation.
“I thank Macra na Feirme for their efforts on helping to deliver this scheme too,” the Minister said.