Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2049)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

2049. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason for the differential in the premia paid on GPC land; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31979/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In accordance with paragraph 507 of the European Union Guidelines for State aid in the agricultural and forestry sectors and in rural areas 2014 to 2020, premium payments may be granted to cover the costs of agricultural income foregone. Premium payments for broadleaf GPCs are higher than those for conifer GPCs reflecting the longer rotation for broadleaf forests.

This longer rotation length means that it takes more time for broadleaf forest owners to get a return on their investment than for those landowners who planted conifer forests. For example, GPC 3 (Sitka spruce) has a rotation of between 35-40 years and a premium payment of €510/ha. Oak plantations, on the other hand, could be clearfelled at around 100 years or more and the annual premium payment is €645/ha.