The latest tranche of the Organic Processing Investment Grant Scheme is currently open and will close on 31 July 2022, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett announced on Tuesday.
The scheme provides funding to organic processors for developing facilities for the processing, preparation, grading, packing and storage of products.
As the demand for organic produce continues to increase each year, Minister Hackett said she is committed to the development of the Irish organic industry by providing the necessary supports to producers and processors to meet market demands.
Minister Hackett said that the supports provide processors with an opportunity to further enhance their income.
The scheme aims to develop the organic sector, ensuring a consistent supply of high-quality organic produce to the market, she added.
Announcing the opening of this tranche, Minister Hackett said: “We have seen 380 new applicants to the Organic Farming Scheme in 2022, which is almost a 20% increase in application numbers to the scheme in comparison to 2021."
Just under 700 new farmers joined the scheme in the last 12 months, according to Minister Hackett.
She added: "Following the continued success of the Organic Farming Scheme in increasing the overall yield of quality organic products, the Organic Processing Investment Grant Scheme provides essential financial assistance in the processing of these products, increasing the supply of quality Irish organic products to both domestic and international markets.”
Funding of €1.2m has been allocated to the scheme.
Applicants can apply for grant aid for off-farm investments up to €700,000 on eligible expenditure and the scheme will continue to open in tranches.
Copies of the terms and conditions of the grant scheme, together with application forms, are available from the Organic Farming Unit, Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Johnstown Castle Wexford and on the Department’s website.