Horticulture farmers can now apply for the 2017 Investment Aid Scheme

Applications are now open for the 2017 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector.

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture with special responsibility for Horticulture, Andrew Doyle, believes the scheme will improve Irish growers’ competitiveness.

“I am delighted to announce the continuation of the Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector for 2017, which reflects this Government’s commitment to ongoing support of this sector.

“This competitive grant aid scheme is a significant source of State funding for horticultural producers and is vital to improving growers’ competitiveness, the quality of output as well as allowing growers innovate and diversify production,” he said.

The scheme is open to all horticultural sectors, including protected crops, nursery crops, field vegetables, soft fruit, apples, beekeeping and mushrooms.

Grant aid will be provided by the scheme, at a rate of 40%, for approved capital investments carried out by the September 29, 2017.

The maximum rate may rise to 50% in the case of young farmers, according to the Department.

As the funds available under the scheme are limited, investments will be in competition for grant-aid.

The minimum investment which will be considered for grant aid is €10,000, except in the case of beekeeping where the minimum investment will drop to €2,000.

The closing date for applications will be December 16, 2016 and application forms can be found on the Department’s website.

The Minister also added that the horticulture sector will have access to the low interest cash flow support loan fund.

“The Horticulture sector will have access to the €150m low interest cash flow support loan fund, providing access to highly flexible loans for up to six years, for amounts up to €150,000, at an interest rate of 2.95%”.

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