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Christmas tree growers encouraged to apply to DAFM’s investment aid scheme

Minister Creed at Wicklow Way Christmas Tree Farm, operated by the Kinlan family. Photo: DAFM.

The scheme assists growers who wish to make capital investments in specialised equipment to manage and harvest the crop.

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Horticulture

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18 December 2019 | 0

Around 650,000 Irish Christmas trees are harvested each year with 450,000 sold at home and about 200,000 exported abroad, mainly to the UK, France, and Germany.

The Christmas tree industry contributes €25m to the Irish economy, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

With 7-10 years of work going into producing a good quality Christmas tree, the Minister of State at DAFM, Andrew Creed, said “the quality of Christmas trees produced in Ireland has increased significantly in recent years. This improvement is due to increased expertise being employed to manage and prepare trees for more discerning customers.

“The improvement has also been facilitated by my department’s Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector and I encourage Christmas tree growers to consider applying for the 2020 Scheme”.

The scheme assists growers who wish to make capital investments in specialised equipment to manage and harvest the crop. Popular investments under the scheme include specialised tree pruners, tree netters, and palletisers which protect quality and allow for efficient transport.

The scheme is now open and details of the scheme can be found here or from Horticulture and Plant Health Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Administration Building, Backweston Campus, Young’s Cross, Celbridge, County Kildare, W23 X3PH, Tel: 01-5058886.

The closing date for receipt of applications for the 2020 scheme is January 17, 2020.

“A real tree provides a better Christmas experience in the home, is more environmentally friendly, has a lower carbon footprint than an artificial tree and people who buy an Irish tree are supporting jobs in rural Ireland. A real tree is the natural choice.”, said Minster Creed.

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