Smith announces €17m in farming grants

 

The Government today announced almost €17 million in grants to niche agriculture sectors across the country.

The funds under the Marketing and Processing Scheme will benefit 66 businesses engaged in horticulture, livestock marts and the meat sector.

Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith said the investment would consolidate existing firms and create extra jobs in the agri-food sector.

Grants totalling €7.8 million were ploughed into in 31 projects in the meat sector, €3.6 million was given to 22 marts and a further €5.4 million went towards 13 horticultural enterprises.

“These grants will create significant employment during the construction stage of the new facilities and will also create additional job opportunities in the agri-food sector which is so important in generating revenue from export earnings,” said Mr Smith.

Minister for Food Trevor Sargent said: “This grant aid is a recognition by Government that food security is of fundamental importance to Ireland.

“The focus of this grant aid is to maintain the competitiveness of Irish agriculture and thereby to ensure the Irish public has on-going access to the freshest, locally grown food in the interests of public health and well-being”.

PA