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Minister Smith Announces 2011 Bioenergy Scheme for Willow and Miscanthus

Brendan Smith TD, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, has today announced the launch of the 2011 Bioenergy Scheme to grant aid the planting of willow and miscanthus crops. The Bioenergy Schemes have supported the planting of almost 3,000 hectares of energy crops since 2007.

Announcing the 2011 Scheme, the Minister said "The 2011 Scheme will build on the considerable progress made since 2007 in developing the energy crops sector in Ireland and has the potential to support the planting of up to an additional 1,800 hectares in 2011. The Scheme is now open for applications and interested farmers can apply for establishment grants of up to €1,300 per hectare to cover 50% of the costs of establishing these crops".

The closing date for submission of applications for pre-planting approval is Wednesday 19th January 2011.

Details of the 2011 Bioenergy Scheme and application forms can be obtained from Biofuels Policy Unit, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Kea-Lew Business Park, Mountrath Road, Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Telephone 057-8692231/8692240 or at www.agriculture.gov.ie (Click here)

Note to Editors

The legal basis for the Bioenergy Scheme is Council regulation (EC) No. 1698/2005, as amended, on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.  Eligible costs include ground preparation operations, vegetation management, planting and the purchase of planting stock.

Date Released: 16 November 2010