Increased Budget of €1.251 Billion in 2015 for Agriculture

  • Funding Increased for First Time Since 2009
  • New Agri Taxation Measures Introduced
  • Beef Genomics Scheme – €100 Each for First Ten Animals

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD today announced details of his Department’s 2015 budget. Emphasising that despite the fragile recovery in the economy, he had secured an increase in funding for the first time since 2009. This would enable him to commence the key actions that will underpin the new Rural Development and Seafood Development programmes that he had secured as part of the reform of the Common Agriculture Policy and Common Fisheries Policy negotiations which he successfully completed during Ireland’s Presidency in 2013.


“In this budget I wanted to set out clear priorities in order to maximise the contribution that the agri-food and marine sectors can contribute to national economic recovery and to focus as well on areas that are currently facing challenges” said the Minister.  “I have again this year given particular priority to the beef sector by increasing in a very substantial manner the funding allocated to the new Beef Data and Genomics Scheme by raising it from €23 million in 2014 to €52 million”.

“To underpin my commitment to the beef sector I have increased the payment to €100 per head for the first 10 animals in a participating herd. This amounts to an increase from €60 to €100 per animal for the first ten animals in a herd and from €60 to €80 for all other animals. This level of support is a very welcome boost to the beef sector at a time when it is most needed”.

Funding for 2015

The Vote of the Department in 2015 will amount to €1,251 million, comprising €1,036 million in current expenditure and €215 million in capital expenditure. This is an increase overall of €32 million compared to the 2014 budget. In addition, I will also be providing off Vote for payments amounting to €1,215 million towards the single farm payment in 2015, giving total funding for the year of €2,460 million.


In this first post recovery budget, this is a very strong outcome and will enable the Minister to address the key priority areas identified as needing support in the new Rural Development Programme and the Seafood Development Programme in 2015. “I have provided the sum of €439 million for RDP measures in 2015, an increase from €405 million in 2014. In addition, I have provided €144 million to fund the resourcing of Teagasc and Bord Bia. Some €76 million has been allocated to cover Marine activities including the seafood development programme, fisheries harbour developments and the resourcing of Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the Marine Institute and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority”

Key priorities

The Government has prioritised agriculture and food as a major economic driver for the Irish economy. The Programme for Government set out a strategy for growing the agri-food sector and much has been achieved. The sector continued to perform strongly throughout the economic downturn, outperforming other sectors in terms of export growth and it has made a significant contribution to the overall economic recovery already underway. Food and drinks exports reached an all-time high of some €10 billion in 2013, a 40% increase in value terms since 2009. However, there are challenges ahead and the measures announced as part of Budget 2015 form part of the policy response to those challenges.

“My overarching priority for 2015 is to deliver the first part of the Government’s commitments to the farming and fishing sectors in the commencement of actions under the new rural development and seafood development programmes. These supports will prioritise vulnerable sectors and support the incomes of family farms, particularly those areas of natural constraints to which I have allocated €195 million in 2015. I also want to put in place investment programmes that deliver improved structures at farm level to enable the sector to increase capacity, improve profitability and deliver on the targets of Food Harvest 2020 and beyond. These objectives will be met by the combination of direct grant provisions as well as a suite of taxation measures that will support modernisation, restructuring and promote growth and expansion”.

“I am also prioritising innovation, as part of a the smart agenda through a substantial fund for R&D and Training amounting to €28 million under the FIRM, Stimulus and Forestry funds and Teagasc training courses. I will also be maintaining and enhancing our focus on food safety and animal health and welfare with a provision of some €82 million overall, meeting standards that are essential to maintaining and further enhancing Ireland’s international reputation for the quality of its products”.

“Conscious of the loss of life and injuries sustained on farms in recent years, particularly this year, I have also prioritised farm safety measures in this budget to which I have allocated some €12 million in 2015”. 


In conclusion, Minister Coveney said: “I set out over recent years to target particular areas of the agri-food budget that could best leverage the maximum benefit for the sector and the economy despite limited financial resources available to me. Since 2011 the contribution to the economy of the agri-food sector has grown exponentially, hitting and exceeding its targets for growth in Food Harvest 2020. Having negotiated a new CAP and CFP last year in Brussels I am now on the verge of implementing actions under the new rural development and seafood development programmes that will leave a lasting legacy on these sectors and make a huge contribution to the further development of these important pillars of the Irish economy”.

Main details of Spending

  • €439m for the Rural Development Programme
  • €76.2 million for Fisheries including EFF, new EMFF, fishery harbours and marine related NCSSBs
  • €195 million for Areas of Natural Constraint
  • €150.5 million for Agri-environmental schemes (REPS/AEOS/GLAS)
  • €110 million public capital for Forestry
  • €73.8 million for the Beef sector
  • €28 million for Research & Training
  • €81.5 million for Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health including €35 million for TB & Brucellosis eradication
  • €34 million for Targeted Agriculture Measures (TAMS)
  • €4 million for Sheep Technology Adoption Programme.
  • €68 million in support of the Horse (€54.4m) and Greyhound (€13.6m) racing industries
  • €4.9 million for Animal Welfare
  • €200 million for Non-Commercial State Sponsored Bodies under the Department’s aegis.
  • €1m for CEDRA related initiatives

Food Harvest 2020 is the strategy for the medium-term development of the agri-food (including drinks) fisheries and forestry sector for the period to 2020. The strategy outlines the key actions needed to ensure that the sector contributes to the maximum possible extent to our export-led economic recovery and the full development of the smart economy.