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Minister Smith announces Financial Assistance towards losses due to Frost Damage

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD today announced that he proposes to introduce a Scheme to provide some compensation for damage to potatoes and vegetables caused by frost in January of this year.

The Scheme will provide a limited and targeted financial contribution to certain potato and vegetable growers who suffered significant losses of produce due to frost damage.

In accorandance with EU State Aid Rules, aid will be confined to actual losses, will be conditional on more than 30% of the crop being destroyed and will be subject to limitations on the level of aid.

The Minister said "Following a preliminary assessment of the crop losses caused by the very severe frost, I am happy to proceed with a limited Scheme aimed at making a contribution to individual growers who, despite good crop management practices, have incurred substantial losses relative to the scale of their farming enterprise".

Growers who wish to be considered for financial assistance will be required to complete a "Crop Damage Assessment Form".  Eligibility for assistance will be determined by an analysis on a case by case basis of the information provided by the grower. The objective of the analysis is to establish not only the losses but also the impact of such losses on the grower's overall enterprise.  Eligible growers will be required to demonstrate that the potatoes and vegetables were damaged by frost and the extent of that damage.

Minister Smith said "I encourage those growers, who are directly affected, to complete and submit the Crop Damage Assesment Form without delay."

Only growers who submit the Crop Damage Assessment Form will be considered for compensation under the Scheme.

Growers wishing to submit information can obtain the Crop Damage Assessment Form from Monday 8 February 2010 on the Department's website (www.agriculture.gov.ie), Local Offices, at Teagasc Local Offices and from the address below:

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food,
Single Payment Unit,
Government Buildings,
Old Abbeyleix Road,
Portlaoise,
Co. Laois.

Lo-call telephone number: 1890 252118

The deadline for receipt of Crop Damage Assessment Forms is Tuesday 16 February 2010

Date Released: 03 February 2010