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Ministers at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine welcome publication of the revised National Development Plan

The three Ministers at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine today welcomed the publication to the revised National Development Plan.  The revised NDP will set the Department’s new five year rolling capital allocations.  The NDP will support economic, social and environmental development across the country.


‘As we emerge from the pandemic and continue to deal with the challenges posed by Brexit, the NDP Review allows us to map out the development of the agri-food sector’ said Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue.


The strategic investment priorities for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine are:


Ireland’s Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020 which has been extended to 2022 will provide €1.5bn of support to rural communities in Ireland over its remaining lifetime. Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) for the period 2023-2027 will underpin the sustainable development of Ireland’s farming and food sector by supporting viable farm incomes and enhancing competitiveness, by strengthening the socio-economic fabric of rural areas, and by contributing to the achievement of environmental and climate objectives at national and EU levels. 


‘I expect that the On-farm Capital Investment Scheme under Ireland’s 2023-2027 CSP will help farmers looking to invest in capital projects on their farms.   Investment will increase environmental efficiency in the sector through the adoption of new technologies, support young farmers in accessing finance so they are in a better position to invest in and develop their farm enterprise and improve animal health and welfare, and farm safety on farms’ said Minister McConalogue.


FisheryHarbour Centres and Seafood Development Programme 

Major development projects in Castletownbere, Howth and Killybegs have commenced and while all have been delayed somewhat due to Covid 19 restrictions they are expected to be completed in early 2022. Preparatory work is ongoing for other projects including a major dredging project in Howth which is currently at planning stage.


‘Overall, a capital investment programme of up to €180 million across all six Fishery Harbour Centres, at Howth, Dunmore East, Castletownbere, Dingle, Ros an Mhíl and Killybegs, encompassing ongoing safety and maintenance and necessary new developments is envisaged for commencement up to 2025. Ongoing improvements will be required thereafter.’


Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme 2014-20 will award the last of its €240 million budget in 2021.  The new Seafood Development Programme 2021-27 will be launched in 2022 with €142 million EU funds from the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) and matching funds from Government.  The Seafood Development Programme will:

  • Assist seafood enterprises in the fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing sectors to adapt to the impacts of Brexit and Covid, grow seafood output, add value to seafood products, enhance the competitiveness of seafood enterprises and develop their markets.
  • Support the conservation of fish stocks, the protection and restoration of marine habitats and biodiversity and climate change mitigation and adaptation in the seafood sector.
  • Fund the development and dissemination of knowledge and technology in the seafood sector to address challenges and avail of opportunities for the sustainable growth of the seafood sector.
  • Assist coastal communities in diversifying and growing their economies.



Forestry is a vital resource for the Irish economy. In addition to their economic, social and recreational role, Ireland’s forests play an essential role in helping with climate change mitigation, through carbon sequestration in forests and the provision of renewable fuels and raw materials.

The Climate Action Plan 2019 outlines 34 high level actions with associated sub measures specifically for the forest sector, including a target of an average of 8,000 ha of afforestation per year.  The targets set out in the Climate Action Plan are aligned with the level of ambition for afforestation specified in the current Forestry Programme 2014-2020, with targets for afforestation rising incrementally to 8,100 hectares per annum to 2020.


Minister of State for with responsibility for land use and biodiversity Pippa Hackett said ‘The Forestry Programme 2014-2020 is 100% exchequer funded and received approval to be extended to the end of 2022 by the European Commission, in accordance with State aid transition requirements. The programme represents State investment in the forestry sector of some €482m over its lifetime.


‘This National Development Plan will ensure a publicly funded capital programme for afforestation beyond the lifetime of the current Forestry Programme 2014 – 2020; and I welcome that. This will help us to achieve the afforestation targets in the Climate Action Plan.’



Access to Finance

Minister of State with special responsibility for Research and Development, Farm Safety and New Market Development Martin Heydon said:


‘Greater innovation both inside and outside the farm gate to enhance both economic and environmental efficiency will be central to achieving the ambition of Food Vision 2030.    The agri-food sector will require appropriate access to finance to fulfil these goals. Government will continue to monitor the sector’s accessibility to finance and consult with stakeholders on their requirements in this regard.’


The Department will consider utilising some its NDP funding to redevelop the regional laboratory network and introduce pilot Anaerobic Digester projects.  Both potential projects are at the very early stages of planning and definitive costs or timelines are yet to be assigned.


Minister McConalogue concluded:

“The goals are ambitious and and investment is required to fulfil this ambition.   Public capital investments in the agri-food sector will seek to support the sustainable development of the sector in accordance with the ambition in the Food Vision 2030. These objectives will be aided by the EU Common Agricultural and Common Fisheries Policies operating after 2020 which are expected to focus on these sectors in a way that delivers enhanced economic, environmental and social sustainability, with a particular emphasis on climate change mitigation and adaptation actions.”



Note for Editors:

The Department’s NDP allocation for the years up to 2025 are:









Ministerial Vote Groups

Core Capital

Core Capital






€ million

€ million

€ million

€ million

€ million

€ million

Agriculture, Food and the Marine