23/07/2014

£623m Allocated For Rural Development Programme

A budget of £623m has been allocated for the Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Programme 2014 - 2020, it has been announced.

Rural Minister Michelle O’Neill has said the 2014-2020 RDP budget would be allocated across three specific areas: protecting the rural environment, developing rural economies and competitiveness of agriculture.

She said: "Having received the Executive’s approval, my Department will bid for up to £250million of additional funds to deliver the Farm Business Improvement Scheme as requested by the Agri-Food Strategy Board in its ‘Going for Growth’ report, which will give a total budget value of up to £623million."

"Having secured the largest RDP budget we have had in the north my aim has been to deliver a balanced Programme of measures that meets the diverse needs of our agricultural, environmental and rural sectors.

"To achieve those goals I have allocated £287million to support the competitiveness of our agri-food industry in the north, £256million to support schemes that protect our rural environment and £80million to develop our rural economies to enable them to thrive and prosper."

(IT/CD)

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