By Anthony Quinn
The financial support, provided by the Departmnet of Agriculture and Rural Development, will help the farms modernise and improve their production techniques, giving a much-needed boost for the local economy.
Under the last tranches of FMP funding, farmers received on average grants of about £3,000 to help buy new machinery and modernise their businesses.
Agriculture MInister Michele O’Neill, whose department released the figures, said: “FMP is all about modernising farms and by doing so improving their competitiveness, efficiency and sustainability. Another key objective of this round of funding is to support the younger farmers who are the future of our industry.”
UFU President John Thompson said the funding played a crucial role in supporting farming in the Dungannon District and in maintaining thousands of jobs.
“Direct payments to farmers and rural development funds have injected much needed revenue into our rural communities including South Tyrone.
“The funding makes all the difference in enabling farmers to stay on the land, producing food, creating jobs, managing the environment and maintaining rural communities”.
One local beneficiary of the funding is the dairy farm of Colm Quinn near Ballygawley.
Speaking about the positive effect of his funding Minister O’Neill said: “Another key objective of this round of funding is to support the younger farmers who are the future of our industry. I am very pleased to see that Colm has used the support to invest in technology that improves his herd performance and efficiency.”