Minister Doyle announces the opening of the €6 million 2020 scheme of investment aid for the development of the commercial horticulture sector.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for Horticulture, Andrew Doyle T.D., today announced that, having secured EU approval, the 2020 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector is now open. As part of Budget 2020, €6 million has been allocated to implement the scheme.

Launching the scheme Minister Doyle stated, “This scheme underlines the Government’s continued commitment to this sector by providing additional aid to support its development into the future. The scheme facilitates both the ongoing supply to domestic markets and also potential expansion into new markets, as well as dealing with potential challenges created by Brexit.”

The Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector is a competitive scheme open to all horticultural sectors – field vegetables, mushrooms, protected food crops, amenity crops, soft fruit, apples and beekeeping and will provide grant aid, at a rate of 40%, for approved capital investments. The closing date for receipt of applications for the 2020 scheme is the 17 January 2020.

The Minister added; “Last year Ireland’s horticulture sector contributed over €433m to the value of output at farm-gate level and is estimated to be directly responsible for over 6,600 jobs with many more employed indirectly both upstream and downstream. The sector is still faced with many challenges. This scheme is a vital support for the horticulture sector in Ireland and it also promotes diversification of on-farm activities which is important given our commitment to reducing emissions from agriculture.”