Modernisation money delivers on the ground

17th August 2010

Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA has highlighted the economic benefits that the first Tranche of the Farm Modernisation Programme has delivered to over 1,000 farmers.

The Minister made her comments during a visit to Danielle Gormley's farm in Carrickmore, County Tyrone. Danielle, who runs a herd of suckler cows, seized the opportunities provided under the first tranche of the Farm Modernisation Programme to help modernise her farm. The Farm Modernisation Programme is funded as part of the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2007-2013.

During the Ministers farm visit, Danielle demonstrated the equipment that the Farm Modernisation Programme (FMP) helped her to purchase. Afterwards the Minister said: "I am very proud that I have been able to inject over £4.3million funding for the first Tranche of the FMP under the Rural Development Programme directly into modernising local farms.

"Overall the FMP will provide financial support of over £15million for local farmers' businesses. The remainder of the funding will be opened to application across the next two Tranches of the FMP beginning with Tranche 2 of the FMP next month. Funding under the Manure Efficiency Technology Scheme (METS), will also be made available in the months ahead."

She added: "It was great to see how Danielle is taking her business forward through her participation in the Farm Modernisation Programme. Whilst the financial support available to individual farmers is relatively modest, when this is coupled with the matching investment from the farm business then great advances can be made in modernising the farming industry.

"When the matching investment by farmers is taken into account, the first Tranche of the FMP represents a total expenditure of over £10.5million into the local economy during tough economic times for business. The second Tranche will provide a boost to Less Favoured Areas while the focus of the third Tranche will be on young farmers."

In conclusion the Minister said: "The FMP offers a unique opportunity for farm businesses to modernise their farm equipment with up to 40% support grant through the RDP. The programme is an unprecedented scheme in the current economic climate and I would urge any eligible farmer to seriously consider putting in an application when Tranche 2 opens next month."