Responsibility for forestry has been assigned to Mr. Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, who today announced the payment of annual forestry premiums for 2011.
Under the Forestry Programme, forestry premiums are payable each year for twenty years in the case of farmers and for fifteen years in the case of non-farmers. There is usually a main forestry premium payment run at which time most forest owners, to whom a premium payment is due, are paid.
Announcing the main forestry premium payment run for 2011, Minister of State McEntee “stated that it involved the payment of €56.2 million to just over 11,500 forest owners.
Minister of State McEntee added that he was pleased to add forestry to his brief and commented, “Forestry provides a welcome income stream for owners, the majority of whom are farmers. In addition to the amount received each year in premiums, forest owners can look forward to returns from thinnings and the clear-fell of their forestry plantation. Forestry, as an indigenous industry, also provides a wider ranging, long term economic return in that it provides jobs, both directly and indirectly, and contributes to our export performance. It also provides benefits to the environment and recreation and amenity value to society in general.”
The Minister of State also “stressed the importance of properly managing forest plantations and noted that the future commercial value of forestry is enhanced through correct management, which may also give rise to an interim source of income for the owner, for example from thinning”. Minister of State McEntee added “that the wood energy market has created markets for thinnings and he suggested that forestry owners should look into these opportunities and to actively seek advice on best management practices”.