The opening of the Forestry Knowledge Transfer Group (KTG) Scheme 2019 was announced today, Tuesday, May 28, by the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle.

In announcing the opening, Minister Doyle said: “The Forestry KTG Scheme 2018 was very successful, with positive feedback from over 600 farmers and forest owners taking part all over the country.

“I am therefore delighted to open the scheme again for 2019 and hope to see a similar level of participation this year.

Knowledge transfer groups are a well-established method of sharing knowledge and best practice.

“They provide participants with the essential tools to mobilise their valuable timber resource and help to maximise the income from their holding.”

Image source: Andrew Doyle Facebook page

Forestry KTGs are for private forest owners seeking additional knowledge and enabling them to know when and how to carry out forest management activities in a safe manner.

KTGs are peer-to-peer discussion groups led by a professional forester and will encourage participants to engage with forestry groups and professionals.

Forestry companies, consultants and producer groups have been invited to organise the Knowledge Transfer Groups and forest owners will then be sought to participate in the groups.

Forests across Ireland are fragmented, with the average size just 8.8ha.

A total of seven meetings and events will be organised per KTG and the maximum payment to each participant is €490.

Continuing, Minister Doyle added: “Forestry KTGs assist with organising management activities into larger management units, with forest owners cooperating to maximise scale.

“I encourage those participating in Forestry KTGs to continue to meet after the scheme has ended, either informally or to form a forest owners’ or producer group, to continue to reap the benefits of their learning.”