Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D, today announced an additional €7.147 million in state funding to support the tillage sector.

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This additional national support is being made available from the €8 million once-off Ukraine related funding provided in Budget 2024 for the tillage sector and represents a 100% top-up to the €7.147 million allocated under the EU Agricultural Reserve which was announced in early October.

The decision to supplement the EU Agricultural Reserve allocation was taken because of the difficulties experienced by tillage growers in the 2023 harvest.

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The Minister said:

In light of the significant challenges being faced by the tillage sector in 2023, I have approved an additional allocation of €7.147 million which will provide critical support for this important sector. The additional funding will be used for a targeted scheme to support tillage growers who were unable to harvest cereal crops due to wet weather in September and October. The funding will also provide for an increased payment per hectare to eligible growers on top of the payment that I announced under the EU Agricultural Reserve in October.

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The targeted scheme to compensate growers for unharvested crops will be at a rate of €1,000 per hectare. A minimum eligible area of 2 hectares and a maximum eligible area of 20 hectares will apply to individual applications under the scheme. The remaining available budget allocation of €7.147m is being used as a top-up to all eligible recipients of the Ag Reserve payment announced by the Minister in October.

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Minister McConalogue added:

I have demonstrated my commitment to the tillage sector throughout 2022 and 2023. I have doubled the annual budget for the Protein Aid Scheme from €3 million to €7 million as well as the Tillage Incentive Scheme (TIS) where payments of almost €11 million were made to scheme applicants last year.

I secured an annual budget of €10 million for the Straw Incorporation Measure (SIM) as a permanent part of the CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) and announced additional funding of €6.5 million for SIM to ensure support for all applicants in 2023.

These supports, in addition to the €7.147m allocation under the EU Agricultural Reserve and the national top-up of a further €7.147m, has resulted in €25 million additional funding this year to support tillage growers in what has been a very challenging year.

The targeted Unharvested Crop Support Scheme is open for applications from today and applications must be submitted by close of business on 24th November 2023. Payments under the Scheme will be made in January 2024.

Further information, along with the Scheme Terms and Conditions and the application form, can be found on Department’s website here.

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