Budget 2019 provided for a Brexit Resilience Package of €78 million for the agri food sector which included a range of measures to support farmers and industry to address the challenges that lie ahead in this uncertain period.
The measures include €44 million of direct aid for farmers, comprising :
- An additional €23 million for farmers in Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC), allocation for 2019, bringing the allocation for 2019 to €250 million .
- The introduction of a €20 million Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot scheme. (BEEP). This is a new pilot scheme targeted at Suckler farmers, and aimed at further improving the economic and carbon efficiency of Irish beef production.
- An additional €1m in funding for the horticulture sector, bringing the total provision for a sector particularly challenged by Brexit to €6 million.
- This package also included capital €27 million in Brexit-related supports for the food industry comprising:
- €13 million in supports for food industry competitiveness and innovation;
- €3 million for Artisan and Micro food and beverage programmes through the Leader Programme and for LEAN manufacturing initiatives designed to improve competitiveness.
- an additional €5 million for Bord Bia, bringing the total Grant in Aid to €46.6 million.
- €6 million in funding to progress an €8 million Food Innovation Hub in Teagasc Moorepark, of which €2 million was provided in 2018.
In terms of the Brexit preparedness work in my Department, I have provided €7million for staff and IT costs arising from additional import control and export certification requirements arising as a result of Brexit.
In addition to the Brexit Resilience package in Budget 2019, the Government has introduced a series of low interest loan schemes, including a new “Future Growth Loan Scheme” which will bring up to €300 million of loans to the market and will support strategic long-term capital investment in a post-Brexit environment by SMEs, farmers and fishermen. The Scheme is open for eligibility applications since 17th April 2019.