Waiting game continues for Irish forestry, claim IFA

Ireland’s Forestry Programme 2023 to 2027 needs to be opened urgently, says Cavan IFA County Farm Forestry Chair.

The Forestry Programme has been formally submitted to the European Commission for State Aid, and now the sector awaits approval.

“The delay getting approval for the programme has taken its toll on the sector, as farmers that do not hold technical approval cannot apply to plant,” explained Richard Moeran.

“Farmers that want to plant and avail of the new grants and premiums cannot make an application at present and will continue to be excluded from planting until State Aid approval has been granted. The programme needs to be opened as a matter of urgency,” Mr Moeran said.

“The negotiations that have taken place between the Department and the Commission over the last number of months before the application was formally submitted will hopefully mean that approval of the programme will progress speedily,” he said.

In November 2022, funding in excess of €1.3 billion was announced for the new the forestry programme. The package saw premium rates for farmers increase by between 46-66% depending on forest type established and premium payment duration extended to 20 years.