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Commercial horticulture sees €6m investment from Budget 2020

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle, has welcomed the allocation in Budget 2020.

Agriculture and horticulture both see increased investment with organics receiving a €13.2m investment.

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9 October 2019 | 0

On October 8, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe presented a cautious budget against the backdrop of an uncertain Brexit.

“This is a budget that has been developed in the shadow of Brexit.”, said Minister Donohoe.

“And the context for Brexit has now shifted to No Deal as our central assumption. This does not mean that No Deal is inevitable. But equally we stand ready if it does happen. In preparing for No Deal, we can ensure that the government has the necessary resources at its disposal to meet the impact of Brexit, while keeping our public finances on the credible and sustainable path they have been on since 2011.”, he said.

Against this background, the expenditure for 2020 is as follows:

  • €103m for the Forestry Programme.
  • €6m in capital investment for the commercial horticulture sector.
  • €12m is being provided for the Organic Farming Scheme and a further €1.2m for development of the organic sector.
  • €1.2bn, excluding EU funding, to deal with the effects of a No-Deal Brexit.

Horticulture

In Budget 2019 funding for capital investments in the commercial horticulture sector was increased to €6m. In response to continuing strong demand for investment by the sector, Budget 2020 has maintained the allocation of €6m.

“Ireland’s horticulture sector faces a number of challenges in the context of Brexit; however the sector still has significant potential for development. Today’s budget continues to provide significant resources to maximise the industry’s competitiveness.”, said Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle.

Forestry

Minister Doyle welcomed the continuation of support for the development of forestry in Ireland with the allocation of €103m (including a capital carryover) for 2020.

Minister Doyle said: “This allocation reflects our commitment to planting 8,000 hectares in 2020, an ambitious target contained in the Climate Action Plan. This level of planting will be challenging and will require shared action from the private sector, public bodies, and local communities, but this government is committed to achieving it.

“This budget also provides funding for the direct implementation of a number of other actions under the Climate Action Plan, including the mobilisation of the private timber resource in Ireland, a substantial investment in forest roads, continued support for knowledge transfer groups, and the promotion of timber products.’’

Organics

Funding for the Organic Farming Scheme has been increased this year to €12m with a further €1.2m provided for development of the organic sector.

The Minister Doyle said: “The extra €1m increase in the organic scheme budget for 2020 highlights this government’s ongoing commitment to the development of the Irish organic sector. The higher Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes (TAMS) budget for 2020 will also directly benefit organic farmers as they are direct beneficiaries under this scheme for organic investments.

“This will help build on the record volume of Irish land under organic production which we have delivered under the current Rural Development Programme (RDP). This higher investment is key to the implementation of the Strategy Organic Food Sector 2019–2025, which I published last year.”

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