Cannon urges horticultural students to consider organic growers course

Minister for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon, is urging students from Galway with a background in horticulture to apply for an internship programme for organic growers.

Minister Cannon said apprentice organic growers are being sought for an internship programme that will be run by the Organic Growers of Ireland next season.

“The programme provides work experience on nine organic horticulture farms around the country. This is supplemented by workshops, farm walks and training days delivered by experts in the sector,” he said.

“This work placement will involve a minimum of 30 hours a week of work over a six-month period on a well-established organic horticultural farm. The participants will be employed by the individual farm directly, and will be supported by the formal training programme funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

“The training programme will bring together, in a formal framework, the practical learning of apprentices on a day-to-day basis on the farm. The Organic Growers of Ireland organisation oversees the recruitment and delivery of the training and certification. The foremost objective of the organic farming horticulture programme funded is to provide a high standard of practical skills and knowledge transfer with the aim of leading to employment within organic horticulture,” added Minister Cannon.

“Other objectives include the development of an understanding of sustainable organic systems of farming based on biological and environmental concepts and of he economics of running a successful horticultural enterprise. The initiative sets out to help bridge the gaps of students who have completed horticulture courses, or have some practical work experience, and give them the confidence to start up their own horticultural enterprise.

“I would strongly encourage students from Galway with an interest or background in horticulture to consider applying. Applicants should have either a Level 5 FETAC qualification in horticulture or a minimum of one year’s work experience on a farm. Closing date for applications is Friday, February 23 and further details are available from Noel on [email protected],” he concluded.

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