IT IS ANTICIPATED that there will be a high demand for a €3.25 million grant being made available for the horticulture sector.
Aimed at all horticultural sectors – protected crops, nursery crops, field vegetables, soft fruit, apples, beekeeping and mushrooms – it will provide grant aid, at a rate of 40 per cent (50 per cent in the case of qualifying young farmers) for approved capital investments undertaken by mid-October this year.
Scheme of investment
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD launched the sixth round of the Scheme of Investment Aid for the development of the commercial horticulture sector under the National Development Plan (2007-2013).
The closing date for applications is 15 February 2013 and only investments which begin after the issue of the letter of approval will be eligible for aid.
Minister Coveney said that this scheme represents the main source of State funding for horticultural producers, and he was “very pleased to be able to maintain the Scheme’s budget at €3.25m for 2013”.
This scheme is vital to improving grower’s competitiveness and the quality of output as well as allowing growers innovate and diversify production in accordance with the targets set for this important sector in Food Harvest 2020 as well as the Horticultural Action Group Report.
Last year, applicants sought almost three times what was available under the scheme, so the Minister said he anticipated “very strong demand” in 2013. He also said that given the quality of the capital investments funded in 2012, the State “will once again be able to deliver excellent value for money in terms of the use of funds under this scheme”.
Details of the scheme and application forms are at www.agriculture.gov.ie.