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Minister Smith confirms payments of €190 million under the Farm Waste Management Scheme start today

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today confirmed that his Department has authorised payment of €190 million in respect of the second tranche of grant payments of 40 per cent under the Farm Waste Management Scheme.   Payments will commence this week with the majority of payments being made today.

The Minister said that he welcomed this payment of a further €190 million in grants to farmers under the Scheme given the very difficult weather conditions that many farmers were facing at present.   The expenditure of €190 million is in addition to the €49 million already paid out by his Department by way of the second tranche of grant-aid under the Scheme towards the end of 2009. In all, a total of €293 million was paid under the Scheme in 2009, which compared with an original allocation of €220 million, and by the end of this month, total Exchequer funding for this Scheme will have exceeded €1 billion.

The Minister indicated this further substantial payment of grant-aid under the Scheme "represented a vote of confidence in a vital indigenous industry with a huge export presence and reaffirmed the scheme as the most significant on-farm investment scheme in the history of the State."

Minister Smith pointed out that, when the final tranche of 20 per cent is paid out under the Scheme in early 2011, total expenditure under the Scheme since its introduction would amount to over €1.2 billion and all this grant aid is funded by our own Exchequer.

The Minister stated that he was of the view that "by providing the necessary platform for ensuring compliance by the agricultural sector in Ireland with the requirements of the Nitrates Directive, the importance of the Scheme to the sector generally could not be over-estimated".

Date Released: 13 January 2010