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Minister McEntee Announces Investment Aid of €3.7 Million for Horticulture Industry

Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine today announced a grant aid package of €3.7 million under the 2012 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector funded under the National Development Plan (2007-2013).

The package will provide grants to 152 commercial horticultural producers to assist in funding capital investments in specialist new equipment and facilities. The grant aid covers all areas of the horticultural industry - including field vegetables, mushrooms, protected crops, nursery crops, soft fruits/apples, cut foliage, Christmas trees, bulbs and bee-keeping - and will assist in funding investments of approximately €9.3 million between now and the end of the year.

Announcing details of the grant aid package, Minister of State McEntee outlined why it remained vital for the Government to support capital investment that will set the foundations for Ireland's economic recovery. He also highlighted the need for the horticultural industry to invest in order to meet the competitive pressures it faces. These pressures arise in particular from high input costs, competitively priced imports, lack of scale and the dominance of the supermarket trade. 

Pointing to the value of the industry, the Minister of State said "the Irish horticulture industry contributed an estimated €288 million to the value of agricultural output in 2011 and provides, both directly and indirectly, an estimated 5,000 jobs nationally with many further jobs being generated in distribution, processing and marketing.   It's vital that the industry receives the support it requires to allow it maintain and further increase its contribution to the Irish economy".

The Minister also referred to Food Harvest 2020 and to the fact that the funding being provided addressed a number of the recommendations in the report, stating "in particular the grant support would contribute to 'maximising the uptake of green technology, including water recycling, energy from waste and innovation based on plant production' which was one of the 9 recommendations related to horticulture".

Minister McEntee concluded by saying "It's most encouraging to see the level of confidence that currently exists within the horticulture sector as demonstrated by the number of high quality projects that have sought assistance this year under the Scheme. This is further evidence of the potential that exists within the Irish agri-food industry".

added 27.04.12 Left: Minister Shane McEntee and David Kehoe
















added 27.04.12 Right: Minister Shane McEntee, Charlie Kehoe and David Kehoe

















Date Released: 27 April 2012