Wednesday, 4 February 2004

Ceisteanna (140)

Johnny Brady

Ceist:

231 Mr. J. Brady asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the area of new forestry planting he envisages in 2004 and the number of approvals his Department has processed to date; and if he has satisfied himself that there was a satisfactory uptake of the scheme. [3257/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Agriculture and Food)

I am confident that a target of between 10,000 and 12,000 hectares of planting for 2004 will be achieved.

My Department currently has applications for planting in respect of some 17,000 hectares in the system of which the majority have been processed. The remainder are being processed as quickly as possible.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government Estimate for forestry in 2004 has been increased by some 30% above the 2003 Estimate, a clear indication of strong commitment by Government to the sector.