| 15.1°C Dublin

Horticulture sector to benefit as €4.4m grant gets go ahead

The Department of Agriculture has given the green light to a €4.4m grant aid package for the horticulture sector.

The package will provide grants to 175 commercial horticultural producers to assist in funding capital investments in specialist new equipment and facilities.

The grant aid covers areas such as field vegetables, mushrooms, protected crops, nursery crops, soft fruit/apples, cut foliage, Christmas trees, bulbs and bee-keeping.

It will assist in funding investments by growers costing approximately €11m between now and the end of the year.

The monies are available under the 2013 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector funded under the National Development Plan (2007-2013).

Commenting on the budget provided for the scheme this year, Minister Simon Coveney said he was delighted to be able to continue to provide support for the scheme.

Mr Coveney also outlined how, excluding the value of potatoes, Ireland's horticultural industry contributed €297m to the value of agricultural output in 2012 and employs an estimated 5,000 people.

Irish Independent