Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, announced details of his Department’s Budget 2022, with the estimates providing funding of €1.858 billion for agriculture. This is in addition to almost €1.2 billion in EU funded direct payments received annually to support farm incomes and reward good agricultural and environmental practices.
Further funding will be made available to the Fisheries and Agri-Food sectors in 2022 through the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR).
Speaking after the Budget, the Minister said, “in a time of transition, farmers can have confidence that this budget protects farm family income and supports action to improve safety and sustainability on farms, we have succeeded in maintaining all of the crucial farm schemes and the budget provision will also allow us to provide additional funding for a number of policy priorities.”
Key features of the budget include:
- Some €872 million in funding for Rural Development and Forestry supports, including more than €100 million in targeted supports for the beef and sheep sectors including BDGP, BEEP-S, Sheep Welfare Scheme and Dairy Calf Programme and €80m for on farm investments through TAMS including specific supports for solar energy installation.
- €157 million for fisheries and coastal communities that depend on fishing.
- €7 m for Enterprise Ireland capital investment schemes, to support the meat and dairy sector to invest in greater product and market diversification.
- €4m for the establishment of a Food Ombudsman’s Office.
- An innovative initiative to grant aid and support the planting of multi species swards.
- Ongoing access to flexible loan schemes through the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland for farmers, fishers and food and drink SMEs.
- €15m for the continuation of the soil sampling scheme.
- An extra €1.5m to support the work of Animal Welfare Organisations, meeting the commitment in the Programme for Government to double this funding.
- An additional €2m to support farm safety initiatives.
- €21m to support organic farming.
- A tax package that protects the stamp duty relief for young, trained farmers, and stock relief, and extends the excise relief currently available to micro-breweries to cider producers.
Commenting on Budget 2022 funding for agriculture, Minister of State Senator Pippa Hackett said, “this budget supports nature-friendly farming practices and prioritises action on climate and biodiversity. In my own areas of responsibility, I am delighted to have secured a big increase in the budget for organic farming.”
“Funding for this Scheme has been increased to €21 million up from €16m last year. Including other supports for the organic sector this doubles the budget available for organics from when I took office less than two years ago. I know that many farmers are interested in making the transition – this will support them as they do so.”
Minister of State with responsibility for Farm Safety Martin Heydon TD stated, “this is the first time a dedicated budget has been provided for specific farm safety initiatives aimed at reducing the rate of serious and fatal incidents on farms. I am determined to drive change of culture on our farms to make them safer places and this fund will be a huge role in these efforts. I also welcome the strong allocations of €153m for Teagasc and €53m for Bord Bia.”
Concluding, Minister McConalogue said, “I am satisfied that the combination of direct financial supports and taxation reliefs in this budget, together with the supports to be provided under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve in the very near future, will provide a good, balanced package of measures for farmers, fishers, coastal communities and the food sector in 2022. I look forward to working closely with Ministers Hackett and Heydon to in the pursuit of these objectives in 2022.”
“I am also working closely with my colleague Minister McGrath to finalise a financial package for the new CAP that will support the Agri -food sector and rural communities in the period from 2023 to 2028. I hope to make a further announcement on this soon.”