Farm Ireland

Friday 24 November 2017

Forestry fears mount

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Fears are mounting that forestry could become one of the biggest victims of cuts in the agriculture sector, since it received only a cursory mention in the National Recovery Plan 2011-2014.

John Phelan, from Woodland Managers Ltd, said the capital allocation of €299m for 2011 was €51m below the "already woefully inadequate" €350m in the July 2010 Framework, which included a provision of €89m for forestry next year.

"Virtually everyone agreed that the July figures meant a virtual collapse of planting to 2,000ha and a wipeout of key schemes," he said. "Given the pre-committed expenditure in agriculture, the cut means no new activity in 2011."

He warned that next year's commitments had increased by €6m due to afforestation approvals in recent weeks.

"So it could be that even existing commitments could not be met," he said.

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Irish Independent