Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Anthony Lawlor, warmly welcomes the incentive by Minister for State Shane McEntee for grant assistance to farmers engaged in the commercial horticulture sector. He encourages local farmers to apply before the application deadline of 10th February.
“Despite the current economic problems facing Ireland, our agricultural sector continues to thrive. The value of Irish food and drink exports increased by 12% in 2011 and a vast majority of these exports are home grown on Irish farms. I am therefore pleased that the Minister has pledged to invest in the commercial horticulture sector by ensuring that it remains competitive against imports” said Anthony Lawlor TD.
The Grant Aid Scheme for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector under the National Development Plan (2007-2013) covers all horticultural sectors – protected crops, nursery crops, field vegetables, soft fruit, apples, beekeeping and, mushrooms. It is aimed at assisting growers to efficiently produce high quality products to meet the increasing demands of a very competitive market. It will also contribute to increasing Irish fruit and vegetable consumption towards the recommended target of 5-a-day as part of a healthy diet.
“I encourage farmers in Kildare to avail of this grant funding, which is set at 40% (50% in the case of young farmers) of total eligible capital investment and provides for a lower minimum investment level of €4,000 for applicants under the age of 35. This scheme is an innovative way to modernise the industry and a wonderful incentive for farmers to invest not only in their own future but also that of this country” concluded Anthony Lawlor TD.
Details of the scheme and application forms can be obtained from Crop Policy, Production and Safety Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Administration Building, Backweston Campus, Young’s Cross, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, (01) 5058886 or at http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmerschemespayments/horticultureschemes/