The European Commission has approved a €20m scheme to support the Irish aquaculture sector affected by the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

The scheme will be open to aquaculture producers for the purchase and installation of new machinery and equipment, as well as construction of new premises, with the aim of increasing the production, enhancing the quality of the Irish aquaculture products or substantially increasing energy efficiency.

The measure will be financed under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve fund, as recommended by the Seafood Taskforce last year.

The scheme will take the form of direct grants, covering up to 50% of the actual investment costs and will run until 31 December 2023.

IFA national aquaculture chair Michael Mulloy said the approval by the EU Commission of a €20m scheme for Irish aquaculture is very welcome, but is long overdue and needs to be administered as soon as possible.

Farm Safety Week 2022

Martin Heydon, Minister of State with special responsibility for Farm Safety at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, launched IFA’s Farm Safety Week recently, highlighting the need to protect farmers and farm workers by implementing a culture of farm safety into everyday work life.

The launch was part of a series of events organised by the IFA to shine a spotlight on farm safety and encourage farmers to make one change to their farm to make it a safer place to work and live. Farm Safety Week took place from 18 to 22 July.

Speaking at an IFA farm safety event in Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow, the minister said: “My main message to farmers is they are their farm’s only irreplaceable asset. Without them, there is no farm. I am calling on every farmer to look at their farm and identify one change they can make to make it safer. It might be changing a damaged manhole cover, fixing a light on the tractor, buying a helmet for the quad – big or small, identify one thing and fix it.

“Right now, farms are the most dangerous workplace in Ireland and that has to change.”

IFA president Tim Cullinan encouraged farmers to take time to review working practices to ensure the farm is a safe place to work.

“Every safety procedure will reduce the risk of accident or worse. We need to adapt a stronger culture of farm safety, and we are asking farmers to do this now.”

This year marked the 10th annual Farm Safety Week, a collaborative campaign, initiated by the Farm Safety Foundation in the UK and led by the IFA in Ireland. It brought together farming organisations from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England.