The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for Horticulture, Senator Pippa Hackett, today announced the opening of the 2023 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector.
Giving details of the competitive Scheme, which is open to growers in all horticultural sectors, and which will provide capital grant aid at a rate of up to 40% on all approved investments the Minister said:
“I am delighted to be able to announce the opening of the 2023 Scheme with a budget of €10 million, an 11% increase in funding compared with 2022, demonstrating the government’s commitment to the sector in meeting the challenges it faces.”
The scheme, which covers all horticultural areas including field vegetables, mushrooms, protected food crops, amenity crops, soft fruit, and apples, to beekeeping, aims to facilitate environmentally friendly practices, promote the diversification of on-farm activities, improve the quality of products and improve working conditions. This scheme not only aids existing producers but also new entrants to horticulture, with qualifying young farmers receiving up to 50% grant aid.
Details of the scheme have been notified to the European Commission in accordance with the European Union Guidelines for State aid and the granting of approval of aid for investments under the Scheme will only be granted after approval by the European Commission in accordance with the Commission Decision on the measure.
Minister Hackett said:
“This past year has been extremely challenging for the horticultural sector. This Scheme is crucial to improving growers’ competitiveness by supporting re-investment in the business and the adoption of innovative technologies to put the sector on an economic, environmental and socially sustainable path. The Scheme is being launched today in order to facilitate the submission of applications by growers and I encourage all applicants to engage with the Scheme and to comply with the 30 June closing date.”