Thursday, 13 November 2014
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Dairy Equipment Scheme Applications
83. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if grants are available to dairy farmers for building or upgrading their buildings or machinery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43523/14]
The Rural Development Programme for the 2014-2020 period, which was submitted to the EU Commission for approval in July 2014, includes provision for a range of on-farm investment schemes. Improving facilities in the dairy sector has been identified as a priority and under the proposed Dairy Equipment Scheme, it is intended to make grant-aid available for the purchase of new dairy equipment. Support for new dairy buildings is confined to young farmers, and will be delivered through the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme. Both schemes are being prioritised for launch, as soon as EU approval for the Rural Development Programme is received. That process is well underway, but it is not possible at this stage to fix definitive dates for their introduction.