€5.4m Awarded To Horticulture Sector Schemes

Funding of €5.4 million has been awarded to successful projects under the 2016 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector, the Minister of State for Horticulture, Andrew Doyle has announced.

Announcing details of the grants awarded, Minister Doyle said: "I am delighted to have been appointed as Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine. The horticulture sector is among my key responsibilities and I look forward to working with all the stakeholders involved in the sector. As outlined in Food Wise 2025, there is strong potential to grow and develop Ireland's horticulture sector over the coming years."

The Minister said that the competitive grant aid scheme provides the main source of funding for Ireland's horticulture industry. By promoting efficient environmentally sustainable production, encouraging sustainable growth as well as facilitating production targeted at more quality conscious consumers, the Scheme is aligned with the objectives for Ireland's agri-food sector set out in Food Wise 2025.

Ireland's horticulture industry, at farm gate level, contributed almost €350m to the value of agricultural output in 2015 and there is significant value-added and employment involved in Irish horticultural product processing, distribution and retailing. 

The grant aid approved covers all areas of the horticultural industry; field vegetables, mushrooms, protected food crops, outdoor soft fruit and apples, nursery crops, cut foliage, Christmas trees, flower bulbs and beekeeping. The awards announced will support investments by 154 commercial producers in specialist horticultural buildings and equipment costing approximately €13.5 million.

The objectives of the Scheme are to facilitate environmentally friendly practices, to promote the diversification of on-farm activities, to improve the quality of products and to improve working conditions in the sector.

Investments approved under the 2016 Scheme are due to be completed, with claims lodged to the Department, by 30 September 2016; however, a small number of projects where additional time is justified, have been granted an extension until 29 September 2017, to submit claims for completed approved investments.


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