A commentator for the Irish Independent has published his view that Ireland’s Government needs to do more for the forestry industry.
Joe Barry believes the recent financial cutbacks will have a negative impact on national planting figures. The Department of Agriculture has limited spending funds, and many farmers are reluctant to plant because of the current requirement to replant after final harvesting.
“We are all reluctant to deny our successors the option of returning the land to mainstream agriculture at some future date,” says Barry, “so the removal of that requirement would greatly increase farmers’ willingness to plant. Due to the long-term nature of forestry, many of us who plant trees will never see them ready for final harvest, and, naturally, we are very conscious of the need to ensure that we are passing on our land to the next generation in the best manner we can.”
Barry argues that although producing timber for fuel and general use seems to be a sound investment at the moment, the replanting requirement makes farmers fear their descendants will be tied to a single system of agriculture after the final forestry crop is harvested.
There have been a number of cases where The Forest Service has granted permission to farmers to clear sections of planted land, in cases where the farmer wants to build a family house or other such requirements. Barry believes that stating such a policy publicly would allay many farmers’ fears, and encourage more forestry planting.