A key feature of Leader is its role to preserve the vitality of rural communities. Its role in development of the agriculture and food sector plays an important part in ensuring that rural areas thrive and progress. KELT can fund marketing programmes, help farmers to diversify and improve the quality of existing products. Developing alternative enterprises is an important part of this programme.
Farmhouse cheeses, fruit preserves and yoghurts are food items that have a very special value to todays consumers. Leader II can help Kildares farm families to develop small processing units to serve the growing demands for such healthy produce. The grant aid can also extend to promoting and labelling of local quality products, stressing its origin and features. This is just one of the many ways that KELT will be of assistance to the agriculture and food sectors in the years ahead.
EU regulations place limits on the type of projects KELT can fund under these headings. Our team will outline these points, but it should be noted that conventional agricultural production and practices are not eligible for aid. Investments which involve increased processing capacity in surplus product areas are also excluded. Purchase of conventional farm livestock is also omitted.
Innovation is an aspect KELT will be looking for in projects seeking funds under this heading. Promoters who are interested in this area are urged to be creative in their approach, as KELT must exclude from funding such projects as Christmas tree production, most horticultural production, farm relief services and poultry and egg projects.
Because Leader II is rooted in the agricultural sector, it has a special responsibility to farm families. It can help promoters of agricultural, forestry and fishery projects to undertake market studies, and also help with technical assistance. Farmers will be encouraged to look around their farms and communities for possible alternative enterprises, which could include the development of fishing or production of alternative and renewable sources of energy.
Agriculture, Forestry and fisheries and small food enterprises receive funding up to a maximum 50%.
A maximum grant of £50,000 will apply to all projects.
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KELT - The Woods, Clane, Co. Kildare. TEL: +353 45 861973. FAX: +353 45 861975