By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Minister Coughlan announces Grant Aid Scheme for potato growers involving investments of over 20m euro

Speaking today at the official opening of the Teagasc/IFA national potato conference the Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., announced that grant aid supporting capital investments of over €20m was being provided for potato growers under the new National Development Plan. A grant rate of up to 40% of eligible investments would apply.

The Minister said that the last NDP scheme (2000-2006) which provided grant support of approximately €12m involving investments of over €30m has acted as a catalyst for the continuing modernisation of the potato sector at grower, packer and processor level.

The Minister said that in 2005 she recognised the need to develop a strong competitive seed potato sector and specially targeted this sector for support over the past two years "To date 24 projects involving investments of €4m in seed production have been approved. I am encouraged by the wide geographical distribution of these projects, and I am particularly pleased to see that 12 seed producers from Donegal have availed of the support provided" said the Minister.

Minister Coughlan went on to say that under the new NDP (2007-2013) seed growers would be again targeted for support. "The overall funding provided will cover investments in equipment and facilities of up to €20m with grant support of the order of 40% which will be subject to the EU regulations governing state aid".

Minister Coughlan also referred the difficulties that the Single Farm Payment has created for potato growers mainly in relation to the consolidation of entitlements. "I have recognised these problems which have impacted on payments, land availability and use and I am glad that the Commission have agreed to my request to resolve the matter. This will be brought about in the context of the reform of the EU fruit and vegetable regime where potatoes and fruit and vegetables, which have heretofore been excluded from the SFP, will be brought into the fold. Subject to agreement by the Council of Ministers the measure will likely take effect from the beginning of 2008. I am aware, however, that this will not solve the problems of many growers for this year's plantings and I am endeavouring to have these addressed by the Commission" concluded the Minister.

14 February, 2007

Date Released: 14 February 2007