IFA Horticulture Chairman Paul Brophy has welcomed the recent launch of the 2019 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector by Minister Andrew Doyle. He said the scheme was essential for the continued development and competitiveness of the Irish horticulture sector.
“Ireland’s horticulture sector currently contributes over €430 million to the value of output at farm-gate level and is estimated to be directly responsible for over 6,600 jobs, with many more employed indirectly both upstream and downstream,” said Paul Brophy.
During the past twelve months the sector had faced many difficulties, particularly due to a sequence of unprecedented weather events. The support and flexibilities of the Scheme had been key to the survival of many enterprises which had been severely affected by the freak events.
Paul Brophy also acknowledged the allocation of an extra €1 million to the annual budget for the 2019 scheme by the Minister, which IFA had campaigned for as part of its pre-budget submission.
The Chairman concluded by saying that the horticulture sector continues to face severe challenges due to Brexit, rising input costs, unsustainable discounting etc. and therefore the Government must ensure the Horticulture Development Scheme continues into the future post 2019.