A further Covid-19 support scheme worth up to £2 million for Northern Ireland farmers growing potatoes for the processing supply chain has been announced. Applications forms for the scheme are now available on the Department of Agriculture (DAERA) website and must be submitted by 18 August.
The financial support package comes in response to the significant reduction in demand for potatoes from the hospitality and food service sector. Growers who still have quantities of unsold potatoes in their stores, which were destined for the potato processing supply chain, can apply.
Announcing the support scheme for potato growers, Minister Poots said: “I can confirm today that my Department has been able to deliver a further £2million in support for those potato growers who have been significantly impacted by Covid-19. This funding will help support them through a difficult time in the aftermath of reduced demand from the hospitality and food service industry for the second year in succession.”
“I met with industry stakeholders and I am grateful to them for their positive contribution to the successful development of this scheme,” Minister Poots added.
Potato growers who have already expressed an interest in the scheme have received an email inviting them to make a formal application. Other growers who meet the eligibility criteria are also invited to submit an application.
“I would encourage eligible potato growers to apply for the support available before the closing date of 18 August 2021,” Minister Poots said.
He added: “Since the beginning of the Covid19 pandemic over £23.5m has already been paid out by DAERA to local farm businesses impacted and this financial support has been very helpful in these difficult times.”
In June, the Northern Irish government issued out £2 million to potato growers impacted by the pandemic.
Source: Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). Press announcement