Increase in funding for Horticulture Scheme welcomed by IFA

The Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Horticulture Committee chairperson Paul Brophy has welcomed an increase in the investment aid scheme for the development of the commercial horticulture sector.

In a statement today he said: “In previous years the scheme has been oversubscribed. Therefore, the increase in funding from €6 million to €9 million is welcome.”

The IFA chairperson was reacting to the launch of the 2021 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector.

The scheme is essential for the continued development and competitiveness of the Irish horticulture sector.

The 2021 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector provides grant aid for capital investments in specialised plant and equipment including renewable energy.

It also helps the sector to invest in technology adoption specific to commercial horticulture production.

Brophy noted: “Ireland’s horticulture sector currently contributes over €477 million to the value of output at farm-gate level. The sector is directly responsible for over 6,600 jobs, with many more employed indirectly both upstream and downstream.

He added: “There is major potential for the sector to expand given the current trends in eating habits, the need for on-farm diversification and the emphasis on local, sustainable production. Current efforts to develop the apple sector are a prime example of an initiative which should be supported and replicated.”