Dáil Éireann - Volume 669 - 03 December, 2008
Written Answers. - Horticulture Sector.
Deputy Simon Coveney Deputy Simon Coveney
Deputy Simon Coveney asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the efforts being made to promote the horticulture sector, address import substitution and secure export markets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44084/08]
Deputy Brendan Smith Deputy Brendan Smith
Deputy Brendan Smith: The horticulture and nursery sector contributed approximately €282 million to farm output in 2007. The sector has considerable potential for further development but is experiencing strong competitive pressures, particularly from the highly concentrated retail chain and from imports. In March 2007 Bord Bia published the Strategic Review of the Horticulture Industry which identified the issues that need to be addressed if the sector is to maximise its potential. These recommendations were taken into account in its 2008 programme.
Producers concentrate for the most part on supplying the home market and on import substitution. The only notable exception is the mushroom sector in that up to 80% of this crop is grown for export to the UK. The EU prohibits supports which are targeted at import substitution but aid is available under the NDP scheme of investment aid for the commercial horticulture sector and the NDP scheme for capital investments in marketing and processing in the horticulture sector to assist in the upgrading or development of facilities with the aim of maximizing the potential of the sector. The EU producer organisation scheme provides an important mechanism for growers to become part of a larger supply base, to concentrate marketing and improve quality.
Dáil Éireann 669 Written Answers. Horticulture Sector.