Doyle announces clinics for online forestry premium application

Additional supports to assist forest owners in making their 2020 Forestry Premium payment application online has been announced by the Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle.

The announcement comes as part of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s drive to improve the online services it provides to its customers.

Minister Doyle said: “I am delighted to announce that the online application system for 2020 Forestry Premiums will be open for use from November 20 with applications due to be paid in early January 2020.

“This allows forest owners 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 online applicants.

The move is aligned with the e-Government Strategy 2017-2020 objective of adopting “a digital-first approach” to service delivery.

The online 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 online forestry grant and premium system from January 1, 2020, was announced this August by Minister Doyle.

Information clinics will take place at the following locations:
  • Wexford: November 20-22, 9:00am-5:00pm, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford;
  • Kerry: November 26, 9:00am-5:00pm, Government Offices, Spa Road, Tralee, Co. Kerry;
  • Leitrim: December 3, 9:00am-5:00pm, Government Offices, Derryhallagh, Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim;
  • Kildare: December 10, 10:00am-4:00pm, Clanard Court Hotel, Dublin Road, Athy, Co. Kildare.

Forest owners who are not already using the department’s online services should register as soon as possible at 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.

About the Forestry Programme

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 landowners who plant new forests and woodlands.

Forests and woodlands planted for commercial, environmental, aesthetic and amenity purposes are eligible for support under the scheme.

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