24 April 2014

Funds for New Tranche of Farm Modernisation Announced


Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA has announced funding for a third tranche of the Farm Modernisation Programme.

Making the announcement, the Minister said: "I welcome the additional £4.1million funding for the Farm Modernisation Programme (FMP) which, I hope, will open later this year.

"Funding made available to farm businesses under the first two tranches of the FMP will exceed £11million, leveraging around £30million of investment in the rural economy. This additional funding, subject to EU approval, will be welcome news to farmers in the current economic climate.

"FMP is all about modernising and embracing new technology which will ultimately increase the competiveness of the agricultural and horticultural businesses here in the north. It has been a very popular Programme and I remain keen to assist those farmers who find it difficult to invest in modernising their holdings and improving their production techniques.

In my view, it would seem appropriate to target those who are in most need and this may be achieved through use of Single Farm Payments data. It would also seem appropriate to prioritise funding for those who haven't received assistance from previous tranches. Young farmers and the use of electronic communications will also remain a priority for this scheme.

"In the coming weeks, my officials will be consulting with industry representatives to develop eligibility and selection criteria and final decisions on the selection criteria will be informed by the planned Equality Impact Assessment which will be conducted before the summer."

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