Forestry Investment – The Irish Farmers Association has demanded the Government commit to a structured farm forestry plan and provide extra resources where necessary.
IFA Farm Forestry Committee chairman Pat Hennessy made the calls after a meeting with Forestry Minister Tony Killeen.
According to Hennessy the strategic plan for the forestry sector is being ignored and the industry is operating without any boundaries: “The industry is in crisis, and without strong leadership the afforestation figures will continue to fall year on year and existing forestry will continue to be inadequately supported,” he said.
Hennessy said farmers are committed to forestry, but are being held back by the Government, in that farmers want to plant and produce quality timber but are prevented from doing so: “[Farmers] are being stopped by the Government. Instead of showing leadership they are impeding the development of the sector by imposing bans on huge areas of land suitable for forestry and providing inadequate support.”
However, the Irish Government has insisted it is committed to the forestry sector and says Euros 125m is invested every year.
Mr Killeen has previously said that the Government is fully aware of the ongoing contribution, and the future potential, of forestry to the economy, the environment and society.