Junior Agriculture Minister and Fianna Fail T.D. for Clare, Tony Killeen said the news that 70 new entrants to dairying have each been allocated a milk quota of 200,000 litres under the New Entrants Scheme augurs well for the future of the Irish dairy sector.
[ClickPress, Fri Oct 02 2009] Applications for the scheme, details of which were announced in June, were considered through a selection process conducted by an independent assessment group chaired by Mr. John Tyrrell, Director General of the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS).
A total of 141 applications were received by the closing date of 31 July 2009. Of these, 35 were disqualified because the applicants were either already quota holders, did not submit a business plan or did not have the required educational qualifications. The remaining 106 were considered by the assessment group, which selected the 70 successful applicants.
Minister of State Killeen said the applications were high not only in number but also in quality. He continued: “The feedback from the assessment group has been extremely positive, in that while the 70 successful applicants clearly merited their selection, the overall standard across all applications was very high. The milk sector is, and will continue to be, hugely important for Ireland. It has huge potential. This scheme, aimed at new entrants, augurs well for the future of the sector.”
He noted that that a further 1% of additional quota would be available in 2010. “All recipients have until 1 April 2011 to commence production, and all will be required to attend training courses facilitated by Teagasc and to provide financial statements on an annual basis to the Department”, added Minister of State Killeen.
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