Wednesday, 8 November 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
255. Mr. J. Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if she will increase the premium paid to farmers currently involved in forest plantation in view of the fact that there has not been an increase in this premium over the past six years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36805/06]
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Following the successful conclusion of the recent Partnership talks, I announced my intention on October 19 to increase the rates of premium paid to landowners participating in the afforestation scheme by 15%. The increase must be formally approved by the European Commission. When this approval is received my Department will take steps to implement the increased premium rates.
256. Mr. J. Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if she will provide grant aid for machinery to harvest wood fuel thus ensuring better timber quality in crops which might increase the wood energy sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36807/06]
257. Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when a forestry application appeal will be processed for a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36808/06]
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): An appeal against a decision of my Department in respect of a refusal to approve afforestation grant aid on lands owned by the person in question was received on 1 September 2006. The appeal was fully processed but was not successful. The original decision to refuse approval was upheld on the grounds of landscape environment considerations.
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