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Minister Coveney announces launch of the 2013 grant scheme for the development of the commercial horticulture sector

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD today launched the sixth round of the Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector under the National Development Plan (2007-2013). 

The closing date for receipt of applications is 15th February 2013 and only investments which commence after the issue of the respective letter of approval will be eligible for aid.

The Scheme is open to all horticultural sectors – protected crops, nursery crops, field vegetables, soft fruit, apples, beekeeping and mushrooms.  It will provide grant aid, at a rate of 40% (50% in the case of qualifying young farmers) for approved capital investments undertaken by mid-October this year. 

Highlighting that this Scheme represents the main source of State funding for horticultural producers, Minister Coveney said he was “very pleased to be able to maintain the Scheme’s budget at €3.25m for 2013”.  He continued by saying, “This Scheme is vital to improving grower’s competitiveness and the quality of output as well as allowing growers innovate and diversify production in accordance with the targets set for this important sector in Food Harvest 2020 as well as the Horticultural Action Group Report.”

Pointing out that last year applicants sought almost three times what was available under the Scheme, the Minister said he anticipated “very strong demand once again for this competitive grant aid scheme and that, given the quality of the capital investments funded in 2012, the State will once again be able to deliver excellent value for money in terms of the use of funds under this Scheme.”

Details of the Scheme and application forms can be obtained from Crop Policy, Production and Safety Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Administration Building, Backweston Campus, Young’s Cross, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, (01) 5058886 or at www.agriculture.gov.ie.

 

ENDS

Date Released: 14 January 2013