The Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, Senator Pippa Hackett has announced the commencement of the 2021 forestry premium payments to landowners.
Referring to the annual premium which is paid to landowners who have planted trees on their land under the Department’s afforestation scheme, the Minister said, “I am delighted to see these payments going out so early in the year. We simply must plant more trees and the size and timeliness of these payments demonstrate the extent to which woodland creation is a profitable and sustainable land use option for farmers and other landowners. They are also evidence of my department’s commitment fo landowners who undertake it under our planting schemes.”
This week’s payment run will see just under €30 million paid out to 8,300 landowners. The payments are annual tax-free premiums which can be made so early in the year due to the Department’s fully on-line system which delivers a simpler application process and a faster turnaround time. The grants cover the cost of establishing the forest plantation and also provide for the payment of annual forestry premium of up to €680 per hectare for 15 years.
Pointing to the benefits to farmers of planting trees, the Minister continued, “I would encourage all landowners to consider planting more forestry on part of their land to diversify their income. Woodland creation is a profitable and sustainable land use option. It gives a guaranteed 15 year annual premium. There are a range of options available under the national forestry programme and I would like to see all interested farmers looking at options for their land for 2021 discussing forestry and woodland as options with their agri advisor.”