Government recognises importance of agri-food industry, where FF failed – Deering

11th November, 2011

Capital spend on agriculture increased for 2012-2016

Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has today said the Government’s capital spending plan for the next five years illustrates that the Fine Gael-led coalition recognises the importance and potential of the agri-food industry, where the previous Fianna Fáil-led Government failed.

“The Government has been left with no option but to make tough decisions as a result of the extremely difficult economic situation we are facing. Key areas that will foster economic recovery and return us to prosperity must be prioritised; as a result the agri-food industry has been identified as an important economic driver.

“The allocation for the capital spend on agriculture over the 2012-2016 period has been increased, proving that this Government recognises that the figures contained in the previous Fianna Fáil-led Government’s National Recovery Plan were totally inadequate and failed to harness the possibilities within this key growth sector.

“Fianna Fáil planned a decrease of €119 million from 2011 to 2012 on the capital spend in agriculture which would only allow for limited investment. The new Government has increased the allocation for 2012 by €18 million. Furthermore the capital spend will remain consistent at €168 million through to 2016. This is €28 million more each year than was allocated by the previous Government.

“Agriculture is the good news story of this economy. Food and drink exports are expected to hit an all time high of €8.9 billion this year, an increase of more than 12% on 2010 levels. This is on the back of growth of €700 million in 2010. Meanwhile, against a backdrop of strong global demand and high prices, 80% of exporters surveyed by Bord Bia rate their prospects as improved or very improved compared with this time last year.

“The fact that this Government will spend €130 million more on capital investment in agriculture between now and 2016 than was planned by Fianna Fáil, at a time when our budget remains under considerable pressure, demonstrates how seriously the Fine Gael-led coalition views the potential growth within the agri-food sector.”