Budget funding will ensure farming community in Cork is protected from the effects of Brexit
Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard has said that funding from Budget 2019 will ensure the farming community in Cork is protected from the effects of Brexit.
Senator Lombard said: “I am delighted to see that Minister Creed has made provision for a Brexit Resilience Package of €78 million. This will ensure our largest indigenous industry is prioritised and will strengthen the farming sector’s ability to meet the challenges of Brexit.
“The funding will give a helping hand to farmers who need it most and ensure our local rural communities are supported here in Cork.
“The measures announced by the Minister include €44m in direct aid for farmers. This will include an additional €23m for farmers in Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC), allocation for 2019, bringing the allocation for 2019 to €250 million. This is a 24% increase over the last two years and essentially restores ANC payments to the level prior to the economic downturn.
“It will also see the introduction of a €20m 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 has been made available, bringing the total provision for a sector particularly challenged by Brexit to €6 million. This will help create the conditions for sustainable rural development and provide local level supports to support vibrant and sustainable rural Cork communities.
“Minister Creed has also provided €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 has been made available to Bord Bia, bringing the total Grant in Aid to €46.6 million. This is a 60% increase in funding for marketing and promotion of our food offering since 2014.
“€6m in funding to progress an €8 million Food Innovation Hub in Teagasc Moorepark, of which €2 million was provided in 2018,” Senator Lombard concluded.
Minister Michael Creed said: “My priority has been to deliver measures designed to help farmers, fishermen and food SME’s to navigate the challenges of Brexit.
“I believe that the package of measures I have announced will support the agri-food sector and assist us focussing on competitiveness, innovation, new market development and environmental sustainability – all key themes of the Food Wise strategy, and the best response we can make to the uncertainty and challenge posed by Brexit.”
10 October 2018