Following the recent publication of the Review of Support for Farmers Impacted by Ash Dieback report, IFA President Tim Cullinan has said that the Government must urgently deliver a workable scheme that supports and compensates farmers as per the recommendations set out in the report.
In June 2023, on the eve of the IFA Farm Forestry conference, Minister Hackett announced the establishment of an independent review of the Ash dieback support scheme. The group was tasked with reviewing the existing supports in place for landowners affected by Ash Dieback in grant-aided plantations.
Since 1990, approximately 17,000ha were planted, predominantly by farmers, which was grant aided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the afforestation scheme.
“While we are reviewing the full report, the central conclusion here is that the current scheme is flawed and that farmers must be compensated for the losses they have suffered through no fault of their own,” Tim Cullinan said. “Farmers with ash dieback have been waiting too long, the time for talking is well and truly over.
“The Department needs to introduce a new scheme as a matter of urgency, a scheme that properly supports and compensates farmers with ash dieback as per the recommendations. As stated in the report, this is crucial to restore confidence and increase farmer participation in forestry, a key Government objective under the Climate Action Plan,” he concluded.