Rural development and forestry to benefit from €1.25 billion capital spend
The Irish Government has allocated €1.25 billion in capital investment to the agriculture sector, which will benefit Ireland’s Rural Development Programme and the Forestry Programme.
The investment is part of the Governments €42 billion Capital Plan for infrastructure investment in Ireland over the period 2016 to 2021.
The Capital Plan combines direct investment the Exchequer of €27 billion.
The investment in the agriculture sector will take into account the Governments commitments to fully implement the EU co-funded Rural Development and Seafood Development Programmes, the Forestry Programme and a number of other specific projects.
The capital allocation for 2016 will be €217m, allowing significant progress to be made in implementing the Department of Agriculture’s major development programmes.
In the subsequent years, €208m is provided for this purpose and this will be kept under review during the course of the Capital Plan to ensure that all programmes are fully implemented.
The capital envelope will help underpin Food Wise 2025 – the new 10-year plan for achieving sustainable growth in the agri-food sector – and it will also allow:
- The Rural Development Programme to be further resourced to support on-farm investment by farmers to facilitate the sustainable expansion of the agri-food sector, particularly in the immediate post-milk quota period.
- A further roll-out of the Forestry Programme to support the planting of over 43,000ha of new forests; provide afforestation grants for new planting; and the payment of annual forestry premia to farmers who have converted their land to forestry.