There are only 25 – 30 soft fruit growers in Northern Ireland and they support and learn from one another. Going forward, Mark would like to see meaningful financial support for NI horticulture producers being given on a more regular basis.
“There are lots of opportunities out there and I would like to see more financial backup.
“Growers in the Republic of Ireland receive support from Bord Bia and the government, they are given grants which are ongoing. Here, grants are once in a blue moon.
“ROI soft fruit growers get help from agronomists as well which is a plant doctor.
“They visit once a month and can see what is going wrong with the plant or what is going right. An independent agronomy service would be a big help for us in Northern Ireland, even if they were able to visit once every couple of months.”