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Northern Irish agriculture minister wants mutually beneficial biomass ideas

A second round of government funding applications for on-farm biomass projects is set to close next month in Northern Ireland.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Biomass Processing fund will close on 30 November, but is open to all individual or groups of farmers as it aims to encourage installation of biomass-fuelled technologies to help agricultural activities.

Eligible technologies include anaerobic digestion and CHP systems and farmers could potentially receive up to 40% grant funding for the capital costs of any project, not exceeding €400,000 ($517,500).

‘The production of food will always remain the primary focus of the agricultural sector, but the diversified income streams and avoided energy costs associated with renewable energy projects can only be of benefit,’ Northern Irish agriculture minister Michelle O'Neill was quoted as saying.

‘I want to see sustainable farm-based AD projects proposed. These should utilise the available resources of the farm efficiently and can produce energy for farm use. I want to see a focus on supporting existing farming activities.’