Minister Hayes welcomes increased funding for forestry
Minister Hayes Welcomes Increased Funding for Forestry, Horticulture, Organics and Greyhound Sectors in Budget 2016
17 October 2015
Tom Hayes TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for the Forestry, Horticulture and Greyhound sectors has today welcomed the allocation of € 113.8 million for the 2015 forestry programme, € 14.8 million for Bord na gCon and € 4.3 million for the Commercial Horticulture sector, with € 12 million allocated for Organics and a provision of € 83.2 million for food safety, animal and plant health.
€113.8m will be made available under the Forestry Programme in 2016. This will provide for existing premia payments and support the planting of approximately 7,000 hectares of new forests. “These new forests, in addition to their eventual value as a raw material for the processing industry, will make an important contribution towards meeting climate emission targets through carbon sequestration and fossil fuel replacement” said Minister Hayes
Referring to the removal of forestry income from the ‘High Earners Restriction’ for active foresters and farmers is significant measure in support of national forestry policy, Minister Hayes said “I believe that this is a very progressive move, the benefits of which will be felt long into the future. Forestry is of major economic importance in rural Ireland, as well as providing social and recreation benefits.
In Budget 2015 an increased provision to €4.3 million has been provided to fund capital investments in the Commercial Horticulture sector was also praised by Minister Hayes. He also welcomed €12 million allocation to the Organic Farming Sector saying “I welcome the increased funding in Budget 2016 of € 12 m for the Organic sector. In 2015 over 500 applicants to our schemes are converting to organics for the first time. This investment recognises the potential opportunities that exist for organic producers, both at home and abroad”.