Growers in Ireland have been given a €9.4m (£7.2m) boost to invest in new facilities and production standards.

The cash injection from the Department of Agriculture covers mushrooms, protected crops, nursery crops, field vegetables, soft and top fruit.

Irish minister for agriculture Trevor Sargent said the money was needed for the industry to support the increased drive for healthy eating.

"These improvements are essential to increase competitiveness, ensure sustainable production and assist growers in meeting the demands of retail outlets in terms of production standards," said Sargent.