February 28, 2014
Government Support Key to Future Success in Forestry in 2014
Speaking about the government recognition of the important role of forestry in the economy, Agricultural Minister Tom Hayes said that the allocation of some €105 million in capital funding for the 2014 afforestation programme in last week’s budget, was significant. Minster Hayes said, “This funding will be predominantly allocated to meeting the annual commitment to forestry premiums but will also allow the funding of some 7,000 hectares of new planting in 2014”.
The government aim is to develop forestry in a way which maximises its contribution nationally for economic and social wellbeing on am environmentally friendly and sustainable basis.
2014 Forestry Facts & Figures
- The total estimated economic output (direct and indirect) of the forest industry is worth €2.2 billion to the Irish economy.
- The Irish forestry sector output alone was estimated to be c. €673 million and provides 16,000 jobs.
- There are almost 20,000 private forest owners of which more than 17,000 are farmers
- Almost 11% of Ireland’s land area is currently under forestry amounting to 750,000 hectares which supports a vibrant ecosystem.
John Bryan of the Irish Farmers Association said that “The government must continue to directly invest in the sector to ensure it realises its full potential and to develop a strong export-orientated forest sector. “Ireland has the climate and soils to grow forests at a faster rate than most other European countries”.