£15m Investment In NI Farming Industry

The farming sector in NI is set to benefit from an investment of £15 million, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has announced.

Speaking to key industry stakeholders at a reception at the Balmoral Show, Minister Poots said the extra cash would be paid out next month.

Mr Poots said: "I'm pleased to announce today that I have decided to supplement the Basic Payment Scheme budget by £15.49 million this year. This means that each farm business will see the value of their payments increase by 6.29% or approximately £800. This will be a welcome boost and is vitally important given the ongoing increases in the cost of farm inputs."

The boost comes on top of a permanent 4.3% uplift in BPS payments worth £8m, which the Minister announced last year.

He also told guests that his recently published Future Agricultural Policy Framework Portfolio document was the single most important agricultural policy development in the past 50 years.

Minister Poots said: "We can be truly proud of what has been achieved in agri-food over the past 100 years. Today our produce can be found anywhere from Dungannon to Dubai, Fortnum and Mason to our newest pop up farm shop just around the corner. I want to build on that success and provide a solid foundation for the next 100 years of farming.

"In August, I published a Future Agricultural Policy Framework Portfolio document, setting out my vision for the future direction of farming support. This is the single most important agricultural policy development in the past 50 years.

"I want to continue to support the willingness of our farmers and growers to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of their businesses, including through on-farm investment. To date, my Department has offered £43m in grant support under the Farm Business Improvement Scheme – Capital."

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