The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has announced funding for livestock marts to enhance their ICT infrastructure.
Livestock marts can apply to the Department for a grant of a maximum of €5,000 to cover 50 per cent of its expenditure on ICT infrastructure under the scheme.
Minister Charlie McConalogue said: “Every year, nearly three million cattle and sheep are sold through livestock marts. Maintaining viable sales outlets for livestock is vital to ensuring that the agri sector and the food supply chain are fully functioning. I must pay tribute to marts and farmers for their swift adjustment last year to online sales that Covid-19 public health measures have made necessary.”
Marts must ensure that they have high quality ICT infrastructure in place to facilitate online sales in their operations.
“Now the longer term vision for the sector must be considered. Even when the Covid-19 situation allows for a return to in-person attendance at marts, online sales will continue to be a significant feature. The blend of online and in-person sales are food for competition as more people have an opportunity to bid on livestock than could attend a sale on a mart’s premises,” Minister McConalogue added.
The closing date for receipt of applications to the Marts ICT Infrastructure Scheme is 15 November 2021. Marts may only apply for a grant once.