Budget 2019: Impact on agri grants and schemes

A number of announcements were made in Budget 2019 today (Tuesday, October 9) for the benefit of the agri sector, according to agricultural consultancy and professional services firm FDC Group.

Donncha Collins, senior tax consultant with FDC (Farm Development Co-Op), outlined the key revelations made by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe for the sector, including schemes and supports.

Funding

An additional €53 million in support has been allocated to the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, Collins noted, which will be controlled through the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has received an additional €57 million, earmarked for resources such as employment, consultants, computer systems and other such needs.

The Future Growth Loan Scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – including farming – has seen an overall funding increase to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation by 9% to €950 million.

BEEP

The Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) has been announced to improve the carbon efficiency of beef production, Collins said.

As revealed by AgriLand earlier, under this new €20 million scheme farmers will receive a payment of up to €40/cow for collecting weight data on cows and calves.

In line with ongoing efforts to reduce carbon emissions, an additional €103 million has been allocated for improvement in grants and premia rates for establishing forestry.

This was announced by Minister Donohoe along with the signalling of his intention to “put in place a long-term trajectory for carbon tax increases out to 2030 in line with the recommendations from the Climate Change Advisory Council and the special Oireachtas committee which is examining climate change”.

Supports

An additional €60 million in current and capital Brexit related supports was also unveiled in Budget 2019 to support productivity improvements in the food sector and increase resilience in the farm sector.

Collins highlighted that an additional support for up to 96,000 farmers in areas of natural constraint was revealed, through a funding boost of €23 million for the Area of National Constraint (ANC) Scheme.

Finally, the FDC consultant pointed out the climate change initiatives announced – which are designed to increase energy efficiency across all sectors, including accelerated capital allowances for gas-powered vehicles.

Stay tuned to AgriLand for further expert analysis from FDC Group on the impact of Budget 2019 on Irish agriculture.