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Minister Coughlan announces Approval of Grant Aid for Seed Potato Sector

Mr Trevor Sargent TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with responsibility for Food and Horticulture, today announced approval of grants totalling €574,942 on investments of €1,437,354 for eleven applicants under the Scheme of Investment Aid For The Potato Sector (Seed Potatoes).

Minister Sargent said that the purpose of this aid scheme, which is funded under the National Development Plan, is to assist capital investment projects for specialised seed production in 2007/2008. A grant package of 40% (a maximum rate of 50% in the case of young farmers) applies under the scheme. The funding is aimed at improving the production and marketing infrastructure of the seed potato sector through investments in equipment and facilities for the production, storage and marketing of seed potatoes. The overall aim is to develop a competitive seed sector, which has strong linkages with ware growers to ensure that the potato industry continues to grow to its full potential.

The Minister said that a vibrant seed sector was critical for the future development of the whole potato industry, which is worth around ?80m for the 700 or so growers involved.

5 October 2007

Date Released: 05 October 2007