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Minister Smith announces €1.3 million Capital Investment Grants for the Fruit and Vegetables Sector in Monaghan

Mr Brendan Smith T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food with responsibility for Food and Horticulture, today announced awards of grant aid totalling €1.3 million in respect of three Horticulture projects in County Monaghan under the Department's Capital Investment Scheme for the marketing and processing of certain agricultural products. The awards involve investment of over €3.7 million in marketing and processing facilities in the County. Grant aid of 35% of approved eligible costs is being provided.

Minister Smith stated that the National Development Plan 2000-2006 provides a range of support measures for the food industry. The awards announced today bring the total aid approved under the Department's Capital Investment initiative to €43 million in respect of 116 projects, of which €9 million is in respect of 32 projects in the Horticulture sector.

"As Minister with responsibility for the development of the Food and Horticulture sectors I am delighted that the Horticulture sector has been prioritised by the Government as a potential growth area going forward, both in value and volume terms. The pre-pack and chilled produce ranges in particular have provided wider market opportunities in recent times. These awards will assist in improving and upgrading the processing and marketing facilities in the enterprises concerned and will enhance competitiveness and assist in ensuring quality and food safety," Minister Smith added.

Details of the projects being grant aided in Co. Monaghan are attached.

Beneficiary Product Description of Project Grant Approved
Sillis Green Veg,
Co. Monaghan
Potatoes/ Mixed Vegetables Installation of steam cooking, specialised weighing, bagging, and data collection and traceability systems. 218,797
Monaghan Mushrooms,
Co. Monaghan
Mushrooms Installation of automated packing and distribution equipment 599,803
Commercial Mushrooms,
29 Market Street, Monaghan
Mushrooms Investment in modern packhouse and associated equipment. 474,429
Total 1,293,029

27 February, 2006

Date Released: 27 February 2006