08 June 2022
IFA welcomes help to boost domestic demand
MEASURES to support Irish growers in the aftermath of Brexit are being hailed as a step in the right direction.
Prior to Brexit, Ireland had been importing approximately 6,000t of seed potatoes from the UK each year, with 60% of the certified seed that is planted in Ireland coming from Scotland.
The area of seed potato crops for certification in Ireland increased to 299 hectares in 2021. This figure will need to double for domestic demand.
But the announcement of a €3m scheme for the country's seed potato sector will be a big boost to supporting the industry, according to The Irish Farmers Association (IFA).
IFA National Potato Chairman Sean Ryan has said he is looking forward to working with government officials to put in place measures that will support the sector against Brexit and other challenges it is currently experiencing.
"The scheme must ensure priority access to current seed producers to help them to expand to reach domestic demand,” he said in a recent statement.
The scheme sets out to accelerate development of capacity within the sector and aid improvements in the production, storage and marketing infrastructure of seed potatoes by providing grant assistance to producers towards the capital cost of specialised equipment and facilities.
The scheme will be funded from Ireland’s allocation from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve Fund (BAR).
Source: Irish Farmers Association