Worms turn Cornish farmers in new
Worms are turning a Cornish dairy farm in a new direction
thanks to support from the Objective One-funded Rural Diversification
Capital Grant Initiative (RDCGI).
Sharon and Neil Rowe, of Trethvas Farm, The Lizard, will
shortly start harvesting their wriggly crop from the worm
farm which they set up last summer.
Neil is a partner in a family business farming around 600
acres. He and Sharon started breeding worms to diversify their
business to combat falling farm incomes.
Organic Resources Management, which supplied their millions
of worms and will buy them back when they are harvested, helped
the Rowes to start their beds on 1,000 square metres of farmland.
The company has worldwide contracts to supply worms for many
purposes including waste projects, football pitches, and irrigation.
They take around eight months to grow to maturity depending
on the time of year as a cold snap will affect their progress,
explained Sharon. Cow manure and paper pulp provide
enough nutrients to start them off and then we give them worm
food and water. Soon the biggest ones will be harvested and
will go all round the world.
The pre-investment support offered under RCDGI, delivered
on behalf of the Business Link service for Devon and Cornwall,
allowed them to assess the proposed project and its potential
benefit to the overall business. As a result the RCDGI appraisal panel agreed a grant of £4,250
towards the overall £8,500 capital costs of the venture.
RCDGI manager Marilyn Pryor, of Business Link, said: This
small but effective project has allowed the Rowes to diversify
by expanding into a new area which offers an innovative way
to develop a secondary income stream.
The grant certainly helped us to get it off the ground,
added Sharon who had to cope with another new project in February
when baby Ellie was born nine weeks prematurely!
While the RDCGI is managed by the Business Link service for
Devon and Cornwall, the Objective One funding comes from the
European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)
and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
For more information on diversifying a farm business or in
other agricultural programmes run by Business Link Devon and
Cornwall contact 0845 600 9966 or click
here to visit the website.
South West Investment Group
Truro TR1 2PA
Tel: 01872 223883
Fax: 01872 242470
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
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