Government ups grant and premium rates for forestry as planting lags targets
- 7% increase in all broadleaves and diverse conifer grant categories
- 5% increase in all broadleaves and diverse conifer premium categories
- New deer fencing provision of €16.25/m
The Government has approved new enhanced grant and premium for the forestry sector arising from the Mid-Term Review of the Government’s current Forestry Programme.
Andrew Doyle, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for Forestry, has welcomed today’s decision.
He said it recognises clearly the contribution which forestry continues to make to the economy, environment and society in Ireland. The review is an extremely comprehensive exercise informed by detailed stakeholder consultations.
"The changes recommended by the conclusions of the Midterm Review are primarily aimed at enhancing the environmental benefits of forestry while at the same time addressing the shortfall in key target areas.
"These measures address some of the key issues arising from our review of the Programme to date and range from improved rates for planting to measures to assist with mobilisation of the significant timer resource from private forest which will become available in next few years”.
The Report notes that total afforestation figures for the first three years of the Programme show that overall planting is some 7pc less than the cumulative target for these years and also that planting of broadleaf trees are falling below the 30pc target for this category.
The most significant improvements in grant and premium rates are aimed at those planting categories that may prove most attractive to farmers – such as Agro-forestry and Forestry for Fibre.
Agro-forestry will allow farmers to plant trees while continuing to graze their animals on the same land with this land use system suitable for producing woodfuel or, where appropriate, high quality hardwood timber. The aim of the Forestry for Fibre scheme is also to facilitate production of renewable energy for either domestic or local commercial use.