Creed launches investment aid scheme for commercial horticulture
The scheme's objectives are to: promote the diversification of on-farm activities; improve the quality of products; facilitate environmentally friendly practices and improve working conditions.
16 November 2017
Andrew Doyle T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for Horticulture, announced the opening of the 2018 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector.
Launching the Scheme Minister Doyle said “I am delighted to announce the opening of the Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector for 2018.
“An increased annual budget of €5m for the Scheme has been retained reflecting this Government’s ongoing commitment to the sector. The competitive nature of the scheme combined with the scheme’s flexibility and ability to react to evolving situations are two key strengths in supporting this highly dynamic sector.”
The Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector is 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%, for approved capital investments undertaken by 28th September 2018. The closing date for receipt of applications is December 19, 2017.
In 2016, Ireland’s horticulture sector contributed over €430m 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.
The Minister concluded by saying “The timely launch of the 2018 Horticulture Investment Scheme represents both a recognition of this most recent challenge to the sector but is also a clear signal of my continued support for, and commitment to its ongoing development.”
The Scheme of Investment Aid is indeed a sign of continued support from the government for the horticulture sector but this initiative is solely in capital investments and the sector is still without financial aid in recovering from the effects of storm Ophelia.
While it is important to continue investing in modernising, developing, and growing the strength of the horticulture sector, capital investments in specialised equipment is no good if the goods that horticulture growers are producing are destroyed overnight by storms, leaving the sector to pick up the pieces and try to recuperate the losses.
You can read about how one of Ireland’s largest nursery growers being told that there were no funds available to them to help recover from Storm Ophelia.
The application form for the scheme can be downloaded by following this link: 2018 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector – Application Form.
You can also read the full details of the scheme by following this link: 2018 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commerical Horticulture Sector.