A Northern Ireland support scheme for ornamental horticulture has opened for growers impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The scheme is aimed at eligible growers including cut flowers, whose incomes were severely impacted by restrictions and market disruptions.
£1.6 million from the £25m support package announced earlier in the year has been allocated to help sustain the sector as the crisis continues.
Eligible producers are to receive support for 80% of losses incurred in the period March 1 to June 30 reflecting actual loss in accrued sales of eligible plants compared to averaged sales in previous three years.
The Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) welcomed the announcement by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
UFU deputy president William Irvine said: "We are encouraging eligible growers to apply as soon as possible.
"The funding will provide critical support to the ornamental horticulture sector which is a key contributor to our local economy delivering more than £25m each year.
“Our growers have experienced serious market disruptions due to Covid-19 with many sale routes being stalled completely during the sector’s busiest period.
"This financial support will help compensate for the losses incurred ensuring that their businesses are sustained as we shift into the final quarter of what has been a very difficult year for the entire horticulture and agriculture industry.”
Applications to the scheme close on Sunday 15 November 2020.