Today’s €1.3 billion announcement for forestry supports will provide certainty for farmers and aims to get confidence back into the sector, Fine Gael Senators have said.
Senators Tim Lombard and Micheál Carrigy recently raised the significant worry felt by many in the industry while addressing Minister McConalogue in the Seanad.
Cork South West Senator Tim Lombard said, “It is crucial that the Minister has recognised the need for urgency in confirming the funding and publishing the new grants and premium rates.
“There have been many concerns, especially over the last two years, about afforestation rates and how we can move the sector forward. This new forestry programme is an integral part of that,” said Senator Lombard.
Senator Carrigy continued, “We have been looking for certainty on behalf of the landowners who want to plant on their land. Today’s announcement finally gives them that certainty.
“Forest owners who planted under the current scheme and who are still in receipt of premiums will now be guaranteed continued payments. It also offers new and improved financial supports to those who undertake planting and sustainable forest management under the new programme.
“Premiums for planting trees will be increased by between 46% and 66% and extended to 20 years for farmers. The funding will be for the next National Forestry Programme and represents the largest ever investment by an Irish Government in tree-planting,” concluded Senator Carrigy.