Fine Gael TD John O’Mahony has urged Mayo farmers to avail of the forestry premiums for 2011 which will see the payment of €56.2 million to some 11,500 forest owners around the country.
“Forestry is vital to the livelihoods of many farmers,” said Deputy O’Mahony when he welcomed the scheme this week.
Forestry premiums provide farmers with an annual income stream from their woodland. The premium is calculated according to land status (ie, enclosed or unenclosed ), tree species planted, and farm and plantation size.
There are numerous benefits of forestry for farmers, forest owners, and for the wider economy. On top of premium payments, forest owners can avail of returns from thinnings due to the increasing popularity of wood energy, and the clear-fell of their forestry.
“Forestry is of long term economic benefit for the economy in that it generates jobs and contributes to our national exports. It also provides benefits to the environment and recreation and amenity value to society in general,” explained Dep O’Mahony.
Forestry premiums are payable each year for 20 years for farmers and for 15 years for 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. The announcement of the forestry premiums was made by Shane McEntee, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.