Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Questions (323)

Lisa Chambers


323. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the funding for Brexit related initiatives available from his Department; the funding that has been drawn down to date in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40522/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The following table shows the funding and current state of play for Brexit related initiatives:

Title of Scheme


Take up (as of 30 Sept. 2019)

Agriculture Cash Flow Support Loan Scheme

Developed in co-operation with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI)

Funding of €150m

Cash flow support facility, providing farmers with a low cost, flexible source of working capital

loan amounts up to €150,000 for up to six years at an interest rate of 2.95%

Scheme closed.

Approximately 4,246 applications to the value of €145m

Average loan size of €34,127

Average loan period of 41 months

Brexit Loan Scheme

Joint DAFM/DBEI/Dept. of Finance/SBCI Scheme

Funding of €300m

Operable 28 March 2018 to 31 March 2020

Loans of €25,000 to €1,500,000 per eligible enterprise

Maximum interest rate of 4%, ranging from 1 year to 3 years

At least 40% available to food businesses

Unsecured loans up to €500,000

738 applications approved

194 loans progressed to sanction at bank level

Total value of sanctioned loans is €43.5m

35 (with a value of €9.18m) relate to food businesses

Future Growth Loan Scheme

Joint DBEI/DAFM Scheme

Funding of €300m available since 17 Apr 2019

Available to Irish businesses, including farmers and the agri-food & seafood sectors

Applications submitted through the SBCI since 17th April 2019

1,283 applications approved

270 loans progressed to sanction at bank level

Total value of sanctioned loans is €43.8m

151 (with a value of €16.7m) relate to farmers and to 22 food businesses worth €5.9M

Beef Exceptional Aid Measure

34,517 eligible applications received. A further 560 applications have been submitted under appeal from applicants that have been deemed ineligible but who have requested to be considered for inclusion in the scheme. Payments are scheduled to commence in December 2019.

€78,192,380 in potential payments (not including allocations to the 560 appealed applications)

Average payment €2,265

In addition to the above supports, I have introduced a range of other measures over the last two budgets to assist the agri-food sector in preparing to address the challenges posed by Brexit. These include:

- Direct aid to farmers;

- Capital funding for the food industry;

- Supports for Bord Bia and Teagasc to assist food companies prepare for Brexit including through market diversification and innovation.

In addition, I have led an intensified series of trade missions to develop and grow new markets to increase the sector's global footprint across the world, and to reduce our dependence on the UK market. I have appointed Attaches throughout the globe to further develop and deepen market access.

And, of course, our practical preparations for all potential scenarios, including a no-deal Brexit, continue to be progressed and refined through the whole-of-Government coordination structures that have been in place for some time.