Min­is­ter opens in­vest­ment aid scheme for hor­ti­cul­ture sec­tor

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

MIN­IS­TER of State at the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Food and the Marine with spe­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity for Hor­ti­cul­ture, An­drew Doyle has launched the open­ing of the 2019 Scheme of In­vest­ment Aid for the De­vel­op­ment of the Com­mer­cial Hor­ti­cul­ture Sec­tor.

The scheme is a com­pet­i­tive scheme open to all hor­ti­cul­tural sec­tors – field veg­eta­bles, mush­rooms, pro­tected food crops, amenity crops, soft fruit, ap­ples and bee­keep­ing and will pro­vide grant aid, at a rate of 40 per cent, for ap­proved cap­i­tal in­vest­ments.

The clos­ing date for re­ceipt of ap­pli­ca­tions is December 19 of this year.

Launch­ing the Scheme Min­is­ter of State Doyle said: ‘The annual bud­get for the Scheme has been in­creased by €1 mil­lion to €6 mil­lion for 2019 re­flect­ing this Govern­ment’s com­mit­ment to the sec­tor es­pe­cially in light of the emerg­ing chal­lenges and po­ten­tial op­por­tu­ni­ties aris­ing from Brexit.

‘Last year Ire­land’s hor­ti­cul­ture sec­tor con­trib­uted over €430 mil­lion to the value of out­put at farm-gate level and is es­ti­mated to be di­rectly re­spon­si­ble for over 6,600 jobs with many more em­ployed in­di­rectly both up­stream and down­stream,’ he said.

‘The sec­tor has strong po­ten­tial for growth and Brexit may pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for some sec­tors within the in­dus­try al­though it also presents chal­lenges most no­tably for the mush­room sec­tor given its de­pen­dence on the UK mar­ket’.

Ruth Sheane and Iso­bel Fen­ton at the cof­fee morn­ing at Red­cross Church.

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