The minister announced the increased support of €4.3m made available for the Scheme in 2016: "This competitive grant aid scheme is the main scheme providing assistance to Irish horticultural growers. Investments approved for aid under this scheme will assist growers to diversify, improve quality and add value, provide better working conditions and facilitate environmentally friendly practices all of which, in turn, will contribute to achieving the targets set for the horticultural sector in Food Wise 2025."
The scheme is open to all horticultural sectors – protected crops, nursery crops, field vegetables, soft fruit, apples, beekeeping and mushrooms and will provide grant aid, at a rate of 40 per cent (50 per cent in the case of qualifying young farmers), for approved capital investments undertaken by 30 September 2016. In certain limited cases, however, funding may be approved for investments that will be completed and claimed prior to 29 September 2017.
Concluding Minister Hayes said: "This scheme will assist in improving growers’ competitiveness by grant aiding capital investments in specialised plant and equipment as well as emerging technologies specific to commercial horticulture production."
The closing date for receipt of applications is 18 December 2015.
Details of the Scheme and application forms can be obtained from Crop Policy, Production and Safety Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Administration Building, Backweston Campus, Young’s Cross, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, (01) 5058886 or at www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmingsectors/horticulture/horticultureschemes/