Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine announces €151m allocated to Sea Fisheries Programme in Budget 2021
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, has announced his Department’s 2021 Budget.
The 2021 Estimates provide a gross Vote of €1.826 billion for the Department. Thisis €179 million more than the gross funding provided in Budget 2020 and is a 11% increase on the allocation in Budget 2020.
Speaking this afternoon, the Minister said, “The backdrop to this year’s budget is unprecedented. Apart from the twin challenges of Brexit and COVID, it comes at a time of transition between the current Common Agricultural Policy for the period 2014-2020, and the new one.”
Referring specifically to the challenge of Brexit , the Minister said “With an additional €39 million provided for staff and infrastructure this year, my Department will in in a position to fulfil its expanded control obligations at ports and airports to facilitate trade in agri-food products following the end of the Brexit Transition period. I am also extremely conscious of the negative impact of a no deal scenario on the agri-food and fisheries sectors. I am pleased that the Government has set aside a €3.4 billion recovery fund to support sectors, including the agri-food and fisheries sectors, particularly affected by a no deal Brexit and Covid-2019.”
Whilst the Minister made sure there was no “gap in any funding for farmers” he announced €13 million in increased funding for the continued promotion of the environmentally sustainable development of fisheries, aquaculture and wider seafood industry.
The Minister says that this brings the total funding for the Sea fisheries Programme to €151 million. The fishing sector supports some 16,000 direct and indirect jobs in the coastal communities.
McConalogue says “The 2021 provision will allow the Marine Institute to progress the construction of a new €25 million modern research vessels and provide additional funding for the development of fisheries harbours.”