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Minister Doyle announces Clinics for Online Forestry Premium Applications

Andrew Doyle T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine with responsibility for forestry today outlined additional supports to assist forest owners in making their 2020 Forestry Premium Payment application online.

 

This initiative is part of the Department’s drive to improve the online services that it provides to its customers and is aligned with the e-Government Strategy 2017-2020 objective of adopting a digital first approach to service delivery. The on-line facility to make payment applications relating to the Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme, operated by the Department has been in place since November 2012.

 

The Department’s plan to move to a completely on-line forestry grant and premium system from 1st January 2020 was announced this August by Minister Doyle. The Minister stated “I am delighted to announce that the online application system for 2020 Forestry Premiums will be open for use from 20th November with applications due to be paid in early January 2020. This allows forest owner to apply for their forestry premium for the coming year in advance. Officials from my Department will be providing a range of supports over the coming weeks and months to first time on-line applicants.’

 

Forest owners who are not already using the Department’s Online Services should register as soon as possible at www.agfood.ie to enable them to apply for their 2020 forestry premium payments. The website includes a training video which provides a step-by-step guide on how to submit a forestry premium online.

 

Should forest owners wish to contact the Department in relation to their online Forestry Premium application they can do so by contacting the dedicated Helpdesk at:

 

  • Tel. No.:           076 106 4437
  • Email Address:            forestservicepremiums@agriculture.gov.ie

 

In addition, information clinics will take place in November and December this year at the locations and dates specified below. Department staff will be present at these clinics to assist forest owners with submitting their individual Forestry Premium Application through the online system.

 

Information Clinic Dates and Locations

County

Date

Time

Venue

Wexford

20th – 22nd November 2019

9am – 5pm

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford, Y35 PN52

Kerry

26th November 2019

9am – 5pm

Government Offices

Spa Road, Tralee, Co. Kerry, V92 VX4V

Leitrim

3rd December 2019

9am – 5pm

Government Offices

Derryhallagh, Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim,

N41 EW27

Kildare

10th December 2019

10am – 4pm

Clanard Court Hotel

Dublin Road, Athy, Co. Kildare, R14 FY90

 

Forest owners also have the option to contact their farm advisor for assistance with submitting their forestry premium application through the online system.

 

 

Note for Editors

The Forestry Programme 2014–2020 sets out an ambitious programme to increase Ireland’s forest resource. The bulk of the available funding is to support the Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme which provides grants to cover the cost of planting and forest maintenance, along with annual forestry premiums for 15 years, to all land owners who plant new forests and woodlands.  Forests and woodlands planted for commercial, environmental, aesthetic and amenity purposes are eligible for support under the Scheme.  Moving to a completely online payments application system is hugely beneficial as this allows for a faster payment turnaround time. The Department’s online computer system, which was introduced in 2012, has been improved, making the application process a more simplified exercise.

  

ENDS

Date Released: 13 November 2019