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Agricultural Advisory Service

Volume 164: debated on Monday 8 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what amount of money has been received for advice given following the introduction of charges by the Agricultural Advisory Service; how many persons have been given advice; and what were the comparable figures for the equivalent period prior to the introduction of charges.

Following the introduction of charging by the advisory services of the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland in October 1988 a total of £224,000 has been received up to November 1989.Advice, some of which continues to be free, is given in a variety of ways both to individuals through farm visits, office consultations and by telephone and to groups through events, meetings, advisory letters, press articles, media broadcasts and publications notably "Agriculture in Northern Ireland". During any given period a farmer may get advice in more than one way. Currently our records which are compiled for each financial year are as follows:—

Farms Visited16,82714,442
Attendance at meetings/events34,00629,744
Advisory letters20,26838,500
Press articles416403
Media broadcasts2136
"Agriculture in Northern Ireland"12,12512,958