Payments of cash support to veg and fruit growers adversely affected by the Ukraine war begin today, with money from the Horticultural Exceptional Payment Scheme going to eligible applicants.
The HEPS scheme is a support measure worth €2.8m, funded from Ireland’s allocation for exceptional adjustment aid to producers in agricultural sectors adversely affected by the invasion of Ukraine.
Horticulture minister Pippa Hackett said: “Our domestic horticultural growers play a vital role in producing safe, nutritious and local food in an environmentally sustainable manner. These payments will provide valuable cash flow to help to support growers and ensure the long-term viability of the sector.”
Payments to growers in the sectors of high-wire crops, field vegetables and apples will be made on an area basis (per hectare) for crops being grown in 2022.
For mushrooms, payments will be calculated on the level of mushrooms sold and will be based on the quantity (weight in kilograms) of mushrooms sold over the period from 1 January 2022 to 30 April 2022.
The subsectors included under this scheme include commercial growers in the glasshouse high-wire crops (peppers/tomatoes/cucumbers), field vegetable, mushroom and apple sectors.
Payments will be capped at €100,000 per beneficial owner, according to the minister.
Payments to growers of field vegetables and apples will be made on an area basis (per hectare) at a rate of €400 per hectare.
Payments to growers of high-wire crops will be calculated for a maximum of 2 hectares.
A rate of €70,000 will be paid for the first hectare in production and €30,000 for the second or the pro-rata equivalent.

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