In a statement released by Minister Hayes' office, State aid approval for forestry has been extended. Read the full statement below.
The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Tom Hayes TD, today welcomed the formal confirmation from the European Commission of the prolongation of the State aid approval for the Forestry Programme which has facilitated the re-opening of the Afforestation and other support schemes.
Dermot Fenton and John Kearney of Greenbelt recently met with Minister Simon Coveney to discuss financing the forestry program this season and into the future.
The meeting took place at Carrigoon in Mallow - where over 400 farmers had gathered to discuss the impact on agriculture of the current CAP Reform.
The group advised the Minister that stability of funding is essential to maintain the desired minimum planting programme of 7,000 ha plus an appropriate level of road constuction. They also advised the Minister that interest is forestry is strong and that he should consider increasing the allocation to forestry to cater for this demand.
The group stressed that the Minister should not consider cutting the premium for future participants of afforestation schemes as it would have a negative impact on farmer confidence.
The Greenbelt group were happy with the meeting and felt that Minister Coveney understood both their concerns and the challenges facing the industry.
The meeting was kindly facilitated by local Fine Gael TD Tom Barry and Green Belt would like to express their gratitude for same.
Green Belt are delighted to have 2 excellent, fully qualified engineers working with us in the Southern region. Their primary task is to maximise the road grants available to return the greatest yield to you, our customer.