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Minister Smith Seeks Additional Funding for Farm Waste Management Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today said that he would be seeking the approval of the Dáil for a Supplementary Estimate for his Department of €195 million this year to provide additional funding for the Farm Waste Management Scheme.

Minister Smith said that the Supplementary Estimate would be moved this week, and that this decision of the Government to agree to a Supplementary Estimate is an "acknowledgement of the outstanding success of the Farm Waste Management Scheme."

The Minister said that the amount of grant-aid paid for the Farm Waste Management Scheme in 2008 was already in excess of €180 million. Minister Smith said that given his previous commitments to review the funding requirement for the scheme, the Supplementary Estimate will mean that the Exchequer will now be making available approximately €377 million in grant-aid to farmers this year under this scheme. This is in addition to €113 million paid in grants in 2007.

Minister Smith said that the level of investment being made by farmers and the State was "a statement of confidence in Irish agriculture, a sector for which the prospects are good, particularly with global food demand projected to more than double over the next forty years."

Minister Smith reminded participants of the need to have work completed and the necessary documentation submitted to his Department by the deadline of 31st December 2008.

Date Released: 29 September 2008