Tom Hayes, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, announced that the annual tax-free forestry premium payments for 2015 will be issued by his Department today with forest owners receiving them by the end of this week.
Minister Hayes commented that “the level of payments each year illustrate the interest and take-up of the Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme over the years, with farmers representing the bulk of the forest owners. I am confident that the new Forestry Programme 2014-2020, which consists of 11 measures with increased grant and premium rates for new afforestation projects, will prove equally attractive to landowners”.
Forest premiums are payable annually under the Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme, which also provide for planting and establishment grants for new afforestation projects that are compliant with national and EU legislation and operational and environmental guidelines.
Minister Hayes noted that the number of forest owners applying through the Department’s Online Services (IFORIS Internet – iNet) for their annual forestry premiums is increasing. He added that, up to end March this year, almost 9,000 online forestry premium applications, valued at €35.5 million, have been processed and paid before the forthcoming bulk premium payment run, compared to 8,710 such on-line applications amounting to €34.9 million in 2014.
The Minister announced that some 7,708 applications, with a value of €23.73 million, would be paid in this year’s premium payment run. Forestry premium applications continue to be processed by the Department throughout the year.
Minister Hayes concluded “A fundamental requirement for achieving the potential of Irish forestry, and for the future prosperity of our forest industry, is a continuous supply of good quality timber. I am encouraged by the level of interest shown to date in the planting of forestry and I encourage other landowners to evaluate forestry as a viable land-use option.”
Note for editors
The Department’s forestry online services now facilitate payment to forestry applicants who use the Integrated Forest Information System (IFORIS) over the Internet. The IFORIS computer system was developed by the Forest Service for the processing of forestry pre-approval, grant and premium applications. The system was subsequently expanded to IFORIS Internet (iNet) to provide facilities to forestry companies to submit and manage their clients’ forestry scheme applications online. Forest owners who are not registered and who would like to avail of this online service can register online at www.agfood.ie
If any of our clients have queries in relation to their forestry premium or their application for same, please do not hesitate to contact your local forester or alternatively contact our office on 021-4322870.