Funding to help develop the domestic seed-potato sector will go to cabinet today (Tuesday, May 24) as the sector continues to deal with the fallout of Brexit.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue is bringing a memo to cabinet on his plan to use €3 million over the next two years.

The plan aims to support the development of native production of such seed, which is a highly specialised farming activity, through a capital investment scheme for specialist facilities and equipment to support the expansion of the sector.

Funding for seed sector

The funding, which is coming through the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR), will be aimed at accelerating development of capacity within the sector and aid improvements in the production, storage and marketing infrastructure of the seed-potato sector.

This will be done by providing grant assistance to seed-potato producers towards the capital cost of specialised equipment and facilities.

In recent decades, a large percentage of seed required to plant the national potato crop has been imported, mainly from Scotland.

Following Brexit, EU plant health rules prevent the importation of certified seed from Britain.

Approximately 8,500ha of commercial potatoes are planted annually in Ireland to yield 350,000–400,000t of ware potatoes for domestic consumers.

To produce these ware potatoes, the national crop requires approximately 12,000t of certified seed, annually.


The announcement of funding for the seed sector comes ahead of Dublin hosting the World Potato Congress (WPC) next week (Monday, May 30 to Thursday, June 2).

Over 1,000 delegates and 60 guest speakers are set to attend the event, which is being hosted in Ireland for the first time.

The WPC at Dublin’s RDS will hear guest speakers and experts from across the globe share their knowledge and insights on the industry.

Agriland Media’s broadcast series programme, Farmland, will also feature a potato farm in Co. Meath and a sit-down interview with chair of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Potato Committee, Seán Ryan, in its upcoming episode.

You can watch the episode on the Agriland platform at 7:00p.m. today (Tuesday, May 24).