West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Farm Modernisation Programme Opens

Published: 4 September, 2012

Peter Kelly has reminded Farmers that Tuesday seen the re-opening of the Farm Modernisation Programme (FMP). It was launched by the Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O'Neill MLA as she visited the dairy farm of Colm Quinn near Ballygawley, Co Tyrone who previously received funding under FMP.

Speaking as the programme was being launched councillor Kelly said

"The Farm Modernisation Programme is an essential scheme which is aimed at Farmers who wish to make their farms become more competitive and productive in the market. It will enable them to update machinery, invest in modern technology or purchase equipment and in doing so make their business more efficient and sustainable.

"Demand for the programme is demonstrated by the fact that over 2,900 farm businesses have already benefitted from the programme since 2010.

"The latest tranche of the Farm Modernisation Programme will see a further investment of £5.5 million into local farms. When the farmers own contribution is taken into account it represents a significant investment into the local economy at a time when it is vitally needed.

"I would urge all those wishing to take part to apply for the programme between now and the closing date which is 4.00pm on 19 October 2012.

Speaking from the launch Minister O'Neill said:

"As with the previous tranche, farmers are being encouraged to submit their applications electronically through the award of additional marks, although paper applications will continue to be accepted, by hand or by post.

"We introduced this selection criterion in Tranche 2 and over 87% of applications were submitted by this method. I realise that not everyone in the farming community may be totally comfortable with, or have the facilities for, online applications, however as before we are providing support and assistance for anyone who requires help. Our delivery agent, Countryside Agri-Rural Partnership, will have a Helpline (Tel: 0845 0267 535) in place and farmers who call this number will be directed to a range of local sources of support.CRÍOCH