Commisioner Phil Hogan said the initiative could boost investment in the ruarl economy across Europe by up to €20 billio. Farmers and others involved in rural development are to be given access to cheaper and longer terms loans from the European Investment Bank after a new memorandum of understanding between the EU and the Bank was launched in Brussels.
The funds will be available for farmer and co-op investments linked to the Government's Rural Development Programme. EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan said he expects farmers to use the scheme for a range of projects, including large on-farm investments needed for restructuring the dairy sector after the ending of milk quotas, and also to help young farmers to get started in agriculture.
This is the first time that European Investment Bank funds have been made available to farmers. Mr Hogan said the initiative could boost investment in the rural economy across Europe by up to €20 billion over the next six years.
Meanwhile, the president of the Irish Farmers' Association has said farmers are hopeful for flexibility from the Government on an EU Directive under which the amount of money which individual farmers receive in grants will be published online. The IFA has said farmers are concerned that their private information would be published and that it may be a security risk. Eddie Downey said farmers have invested extremely well to grow their industry, and he said he did not think the publication of personal details was necessary.
He said farmers were hopeful that the Department of Agriculture could treat the information as sensitively as possible, with the IFA hopeful that publishing the name and local town or townland of the farmer would be enough to satisfy the directive.
Green Belt atended the Teagasc reforestation event in Feakle on March 4th.
At this event, there were showcases of the quality work completed by Liam Cleare, now of Green Belt, who harvested and clearfelled the site for Denis. It was a high yielding site and an average tree size of 0.4m3 was harvested at clearfell - which is impressive after a 26 year rotation. The landowner is now looking at replanting and used brash bailing to help clear up the site and to generate a little extra income.
Green Belt has clearfelled a numbver of sites across the country. Whether as a result of wind throw from storm damage or of naturally reaching clearfell age, our team of harvesters and hauliers will work to achieve the very best result from your harvest.
Contact the harvesting team to discuss the options available to you.
Agricultural incomes, which have been under considerable pressure since last autumn, fell further in July according to the latest official figures from the Central Statistics Office.
Thank you for filling out the Green Belt Yield Calculator, an email is on its way to you now with additional information about forestry investment. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on Freephone: 1800 200 233 or contact your local forester from the interactive map.
The Green Belt Team
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.
The acronym GLAS stands for Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme.
The new initiative ties in with the green vision for Irish agriculture as contained in Food Harvest 2020 and as promoted by Bord Bia in the Origin Green campaign.
The scheme is green as it preserves Ireland's traditional hay meadows and low input pastures; low-carbon as it retains the carbon stocks in soil through margins and habitat preservation and practices such as minimum tillage and agri-environment as it promotes agricultural actions which enhance the rural environment.