€3.1 million for seed potato and chipping potato sector
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, announced the opening of the 2023 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Seed Potato and Chipping Potato Sector. In addition to providing support for the seed potato sector, the scheme has been expanded in 2023 to include growers of Irish chipping potatoes.
The 2023 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Seed Potato and Chipping Potato Sector will assist in the development of capacity within the Irish seed and chipping potato sectors and will aid improvements in the production, storage and marketing infrastructure of seed and chipping potatoes by providing grant assistance to producers towards the capital cost of specialized equipment and facilities. The Scheme which is worth €3.1 million in 2023 is funded utilising funding under Ireland’s allocation from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve Fund (BAR).
Senator Pippa Hackett, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity with special responsibility for horticulture, in welcoming the announcement stated:
“The Horticulture sector is a critical component of our Agricultural sector, and I am delighted that this 2023 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Seed Potato and Chipping Potato Sector will facilitate the expansion of the Irish seed and chipping potato sectors. The funding provided by this Scheme will be of great benefit to those growers in the seed and chipping potato sectors and will assist them in developing their capacity ensuring a consistent supply of Irish potatoes and displacements of imports.”
Commenting on the opening of the scheme, Minister McConalogue said:
“I am delighted to announce the opening of this innovative €3.1 million scheme. I am a strong supporter of the seed potato and chipping potato sectors. I want to see the sector to grow and flourish in the years ahead. We are potato royalty and I want to ensure that there is a strong and vibrant industry in the years ahead.
“The scheme is in recognition of the challenges faced by the Irish potato sector following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. The expansion of the scheme to include Irish chipping potato growers will help to secure and futureproof the potato industry and again demonstrates my commitment to the ongoing development of this important industry. This Scheme will enable these specialised growers to develop capacity and ensure a renewed focus on the local supply model.”
In relation to seed potatoes, approximately 4,000t of seed potato previously supplied by Great Britain, as of 1 January 2021, can no longer be imported into Ireland. In addition, Ireland imports approximately 64,000 tonnes of potatoes from the UK. Most of these fresh potato imports are used by chip shop owners.