ROOst is to spend an additional €9.6bn on land acquisitions and construction for new farming communities in Ireland, as part of a programme to address the “challenges” posed by climate change.
The new funding, announced in the Irish National Land and Infrastructure Plan (NLIP), is part of ROOsts plan to make the country a “world-class” agricultural region.
In a statement, ROOt said that it had secured “the most significant infrastructure and land-acquisition programme in the history of the Irish agri-business” through the use of the EU’s Horizon 2020 Horizon 2020 strategy.
The €9 billion investment will be used to build up new farmland and land and will support the expansion of existing farming communities.
It also includes the acquisition of land for the construction of “landfill” structures to provide a more environmentally friendly and sustainable means of farm land acquisition.
It said that €3.3bn of the €9billion will be spent on new agricultural infrastructure and that the remainder would be allocated to “development and adaptation activities” to support rural communities, including improving water management and improving the infrastructure for water management.
The money will be allocated towards a new rural community in a “comprehensive” and “transparent” way, Roosts statement added.
It added that the money would also go towards “agricultural research and development” to improve agricultural productivity.
The EU has allocated €2.7bn for agricultural research and projects, including €1.7 billion for research and technology.
It is the third time the EU has committed to allocate funds to the Irish agricultural sector, following the initial allocation of €4.5bn for rural areas in the 2016-2020 Horizon 2020 programme.ROOst has previously earmarked up to €10bn of funding for the development of new agricultural areas, which will also be shared with other EU countries.
However, it is not clear if ROOs new funding will go towards the development and extension of existing agricultural communities, or the new projects that are planned.
The ROO said that the new funds would “ensure that rural communities can continue to thrive, with increased access to fresh and healthy food”.
“With this new investment, we will ensure that rural Irish families and businesses can benefit from more than €3bn in funding over the next five years,” said ROO Chair, Michael Hogan.