Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Questions (53)

Eamon Ryan

Question:

53. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the steps he is taking to support local food production with particular reference to small farms and facilitating the production of vegetables. [49104/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department supports vegetable producers by means of grant aid provided through the Scheme of Investment Aid for the development of the commercial horticulture sector. This scheme provides grant aid towards capital investments in specialised plant and equipment as well as emerging technologies specific to commercial horticulture production. Under this scheme, aid at a rate of 40% (or a maximum rate of 50% in the case of young farmers) is payable on the accepted cost of approved capital investments or equipment. This Scheme is 100% funded by the Irish Government.

My Department has just received EU approval to continue this valuable and important grant aid scheme in 2020 and monies have been provided in my Department’s budgetary allocation for this.

At a broader level, the EU Producer Organisation Scheme which my Department also operates, contributes important support for the fruit and vegetable sector. This scheme which is 100% EU funded provides an important mechanism for producers to achieve a more sustainable balance in the supply chain through collaboration and enhancing bargaining power by becoming part of a larger supply base. Producer members can claim 50% EU aid on approved actions and investments implemented through Producer Organisations, including fruit and vegetable production.