Marts set to be in line for Covid-19 funding boost

Marts around the country are in line for a funding boost following challenges brought about by the impact of Covid-19, AgriLand understands.

It is understood that funding is to be allocated to the mart sector for the purchasing of equipment to facilitate online trading.

While not yet confirmed officially, it is thought that funding of approximately €5,000 will be provided per mart.

This development is set to come as a welcome help for mart enterprises across the country.

A spokesperson for the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, told AgriLand: “No concrete plan is in place but the minister wishes to thank mart managers and farmers for the cooperation over Level 5 restrictions.

“He looks forward to seeing buyers back at the ring subject to public health guidelines as well as using online platforms,” the spokesperson added.

This comes after the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine wrote to Irish marts in relation to an anticipated easing of Covid-19 restrictions next week.

Earlier this month, department officials held a meeting with representatives of Mart Managers of Ireland (MMI) in relation to restrictions.

At the meeting, the MMI representatives requested financial assistance for marts to help cope with the expense of installing online equipment, stating:

Every other sector have been given adequate grants and supports to install online sales systems and the marts should be no different with farming being an essential service.

“Installation costs and continuing running costs for these online systems are additional outgoings in a year where income in marts has been greatly affected,” MMI said in a statement at the time.