Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (132, 133)

Billy Timmins

Question:

212 Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the applications he will be considering for payment for grant aid under the Regional Programme 2002-2006 for investment aid for the potato sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7171/04]

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Billy Timmins

Question:

219 Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when he will be considering applications for payment for grant aid under the Regional Programme 2002-2006 for investment aid for the potato sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6659/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Agriculture and Food)

I propose to take Question Nos. 212 and 219 together.

Since 1992, more than €19 million in grant aid has been provided in supporting infrastructural improvement in the potato sector through capital investment programmes to the value of €65 million in the grading, handling and storage of potatoes. The country now has more than 360,000 tonnes of storage capacity with a third of this in refrigerated storage and a further third in ambient stores. In light of the adequacy of the available storage capacity and the limitation on funding under the National Development Plan 2001-2006, it will not be possible to provide support for capital investment programmes for primary production in 2004. However, this matter will be reviewed for 2005 in the light of an examination of the investment requirements of the potato sector and budgetary circumstances at that time.