IFA Horticulture Chairman Paul Brophy has welcomed an increase in the investment aid scheme for the development of the commercial horticulture sector.
“In previous years the scheme has been oversubscribed. Therefore, the increase in funding from €6m to €9m is welcome,” he said. The IFA Chairman was reacting to the launch of the 2021 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector.
“The scheme is essential for the continued development and competitiveness of the Irish horticulture sector,” he said.
“This scheme assists in the development of the horticulture sector by grant aiding capital investments in specialised plant and equipment including renewable energy. It also supports investment in technology adoption specific to commercial horticulture production. Ireland’s horticulture sector currently contributes over €477 million to the value of output at farm-gate level. The sector is directly responsible for over 6,600 jobs, with many more employed indirectly both upstream and downstream.”
He said, “There is major potential for the sector to expand given the current trends in eating habits, the need for on-farm diversification and the emphasis on local, sustainable production. Current efforts to develop the apple sector are a prime example of an initiative which should be supported and replicated”.