independent

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Doyle launches new forestry scheme

Minister of State Andrew Doyle
Minister of State Andrew Doyle

Myles Buchanan

The opening of the Forest Knowledge Transfer Group (KTG) Scheme for 2019 has been announced by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D..

Forestry KTGs are for private forest owners seeking additional knowledge and enabling them to know when and how to carry out forest management activities in a safe manner.

KTGs are peer-to-peer discussion groups led by a professional forester and will encourage participants to engage with forestry groups and professionals.

Minister of State Doyle said: 'The Forestry KTG Scheme 2018 was very successful, with positive feedback from the over 600 farmers and forest owners taking part all over the country. I am therefore delighted to open the Scheme again for 2019 and hope to see a similar level of participation this year. Knowledge transfer groups are a well-established method of sharing knowledge and best practice. They provide participants with the essential tools to mobilise their valuable timber resource and help to maximise the income from their holding.'

Forestry companies, consultants and producer groups are invited to organise Knowledge Transfer Groups. Forest owners will then be sought to participate in the groups. Forests across Ireland are fragmented, with the average size just 8.8 hectares.

The Minister of State added: 'Forestry KTGs assist with organising management activities into larger management units, with forest owners cooperating to maximise scale. I encourage those participating in Forestry KTGs to continue to meet after the Scheme has ended, either informally or to form a forest owners' or producer group, to continue to reap the benefits of their learning.'

Each KTG can have a maximum of 20 participants and each participant will need to attend seven meetings or outdoor events in order to complete the programme. The scheme is only open for those who have not previously participated in a KTG group.

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