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Think Forestry! says Minister Wallace

Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food with responsibility for Forestry called on farmers visiting the Ploughing Championships to take this opportunity to see what forestry has to offer. "Any farmer thinking about the future must think about forestry", the Minister said today. With a full forestry village, and dedicated Department and Teagasc stands, the Minister said this was a perfect opportunity to talk to the experts.

Minister Wallace reiterated the Government's commitment to forestry as a critical, long-term, land-use alternative.

"The current package of supports is the most attractive that has ever been offered", she said, pointing to the availability of 100% grants and substantial, tax-free, annual premiums. The evidence shows that farmers could significantly boost their income by converting part of their land to forestry.

While farmers need to get their applications in as quickly as possible to be sure of approval under the current Programme, the Minister emphasised that an attractive afforestation scheme would be at the core of the new forestry programme running from 2007-2013. She urged farmers to talk to the experts and look at the possibilities for forestry on their own farms. "The important thing now is for farmers to get their applications in", the Minister said.

"If we can approve them under the current programme, we will, if not, they'll be top of the list for approval under the next programme."

28 September, 2006

Date Released: 28 September 2006