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Minister Wallace announces Forestry Premium Payments of 41m euro for 2006

Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food, today announced that some €41 million is now being paid to thousands of forest owners around the country, most of them farmers.

This is the annual forestry premium payment under the forestry programme of the Department of Agriculture and Food and the first to be made under the new IFORIS computer system. The average payment to each forest-owner is €3,200.

Announcing the payment run today, Minister of State Mary Wallace, TD welcomed the continued support which these payments represented to farmers and rural communities. She called on other farmers to avail of what is the most attractive incentive package ever put together for forestry in this country, combining full payment of planting costs, a guaranteed income for 20 years and the cash-value of the timber at felling - all income enjoyed tax-free.

"Forestry is a growth industry, in every sense of the word", the Minister said today. "In a situation where farmers are considering their land-use options, forestry represents a real and viable alternative, with new markets for timber and energy being developed all the time".

Minister Wallace also reminded farmers that they could plant up to 50% of their land and draw down the full Single Farm Payment, as well as generous forestry premiums.

"This year's cheques are in the post," the Minister said, "It's not too late to add your name to the list for the next 20 years but if you want guaranteed, tax free income until 2026, you have to act now".

13 April, 2006

Date Released: 13 April 2006