Doyle welcomes department budget funding boost

Funding for the Organic Farming Scheme has been increased in Budget 2019 to €11 million with a further €1.2 million being provided for the development of the organic sector.

The funding allocations has been lauded by the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle.

Commenting on the budget, Minister Doyle said: “I welcome this increase in funding for the organic sector in 2019.”

Funding was allocated yesterday for a number of areas under the minister’s responsibility.

Expenditure next year will amount to:
  • €11 million is being provided for the Organic Farming Scheme and a further €1.2m for development of the organic sector;
  • €6 million in capital investment for the commercial horticulture sector;
  • €103 million for the Forestry Programme.

Commenting on organic funding, Minister Doyle said: “This €12.2 million is evidence of the Government’s commitment to this sector and will allow for the continued support of over 1,700 organic farmers under the Organic Farming Scheme.”

The minister noted that consumer demand for organic food is increasing nationally and globally, with the Irish organic market now valued at over €200 million.

Horticulture

Funding for capital investments in the commercial horticulture sector has been increased by an additional €1 million to €6 million for 2019.

Minister Doyle outlined that this is in response to strong demand for investment within the sector and the emerging challenges of Brexit.

Forestry

The support for the development of forestry in Ireland has also been embraced by Doyle who highlighted that €103 million (including a capital carryover) will be allocated to the sector for 2019.

This level of investment by the Government recognises the ongoing contribution of the forestry sector in Ireland.

2018 has seen an increased grant available for broadleaf plantings as a result of a re-orientation in forestry policy.

Doyle noted that, as part of the mid-term review of the national Forestry Programme, 2019 will see a further implementation of this.

Doyle said: “Forestry is a viable land use option and can provide an important alternative income stream for farmers which can complement their overall farm enterprise.”

“In addition we will also be funding other forestry initiatives including the Neighbourwood scheme and the recently-launched Woodland Environmental Fund,” he concluded.