Local Deputy Tom Hayes has said that €3.25 million for capital funding for the horticultural sector will be a big boost for the sector and will help it to flourish in the long term.
Deputy Hayes welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food, Simon Coveney TD, that this funding will be available under the National Development Plan.
“The Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector grant, aids capital investments in specialised plant and equipment in the horticultural sector. The scheme’s objectives are: to promote the diversification of on-farm activities; to improve the quality of products; to facilitate environmentally friendly practices and improve working conditions.
“The horticultural sector in Ireland is seeing growth and is developing into an extremely important sector for the Irish Economy. There are over 6,000 people employed in this sector in Ireland and the output of the horticulture sector is estimated at over €360 million per annum.
“Capital funding for the sector was three times oversubscribed last year and it is expected that once again there will be similar if not increased demand for this scheme. These monies will help to develop this sector further and hopefully many Tipperary producers will benefit from it.
“Ireland has the potential to become the bread basket of Europe and investment in capital infrastructure is vital, so that our producers can expand and develop their operations quickly. We are extremely well regarded as a food producing nation and we must continue to capitalise on this and expand our excellent food production sector so that it can cater for needs of an ever expanding Irish and global population.”