The Irish government has granted €4.2 million for the commercial horticulture sector, with €84 million allocated for Food Safety, Animal Health and Welfare and Plant Health.
€105 million was granted for the 2014 forestry programme - enough to maintain the 7,000 hectares of new planting which is consistent with the previous two years. Funding for this sector is entirely funded by the exchequer.
Minister of state Tom Hayes said he was delighted that support for specialised horticulture capital investments had been increased by almost 30 per cent with €4.2 million allocated to the Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector for 2014.
This grant aid scheme represents the main source of state funding for horticultural producers and aims to improve growers’ competitiveness and the quality of output as well as "allowing growers innovate and diversify production in a sector where output per annum is in the region of €300m at farm gate with a further Gross Value Added of approximately €70m".
Hayes said he intended to launch the 2014 scheme within the next month.
The Government has also provided more than €1.84 million specifically for the support and development of the organic sector in 2014.