Farm improvement grant scheme closes

Applications under the Farm Improvement Scheme have reached the level of funding available and, as a result, the scheme is now closed to new applicants, Government officials have revealed.

Announced earlier this year, the scheme aimed to encourage farmers to invest in new developments which could help reduce agricultural businesses' impact on the environment.

However, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan, said that a rush of applicants in recent weeks meant that the full envelope of funds for the scheme has been reached.

Now, her department is processing applications and successful businesses will receive their grants in the near future.

When the scheme was launched in July, John McGuinness, Minister for Trade and Commerce, said: "This new scheme very much reflects this Government's policy for the future development of Irish agriculture.

"It will help encourage new investment and improve infra-structure, sustain the environment and assist the farming sector to face the competitive challenges of the years ahead."

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that it was administering an innovation programme worth Euro 100m for businesses researching environmental technologies.

James Cooper


| agriculture


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