Deputy Browne Hits Out At Lack Of Support For Horticulture Sector

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Tipperary TD Martin Browne is accusing the government of failing to support the horticulture sector which is a major employer in Tipperary with several mushroom plants in operation.

The government has published two reports in respect of the availability of peat for the horticulture sector and how producers could come into line with environmental extraction regulations.

The sector contributes significantly to the economy with sales of €521 million in 2021 and 17,600 people employed in primary production, value added and downstream businesses.

Approximately 60% of the value of Irish horticulture is currently dependent on peat with the mushroom, amenity and soft fruit sectors being most reliant.

As peat is a finite resource the sector is being asked  to developing alternatives to peat as a growing medium.

The government wants to phase out the use of peat by 2030, or by the very latest 2035, providing alternative materials are available.

The state is providing 10M in funding to support the transition away from peat.