The money will go towards meeting the cost of further on-farm risk assessment.
Some 1,700 farmers are already participating in the programme. Mr Coveney said the aim is to set up a voluntary national programme for Johne’s disease which enables participating herd owners to demonstrate the absence of this disease from the majority of herds.
It also aims to provide a programme that will control and ultimately remove the disease from farms where it is found, underpinning the quality of Irish dairy produce in the marketplace.
“The work being undertaken as part of this final phase of this pilot initiative will guide the future Irish Johne’s disease programme,” he said.
Mr Coveney noted the ongoing efforts at farm level where participating farmers and their milk processors will contribute by way of paying for testing. It is thought that funding under the Rural Development Plan’s Target Advisory Service will provide ongoing support at farm level in future years.