In 2018, the Department of Agriculture paid a total of €2.7 million in forestry annual premiums for forests planted in Co. Leitrim.
44% of that figure was paid to farmers and forest owners outside of Leitrim
Sinn Féin Deputy Marin Kenny asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine for the breakdown of forestry premiums paid on forestry in County Leitrim under the categories of premiums paid to farmers and landowners that live in County Leitrim and premiums paid to others that do not live in the county this week.
Minister Michael Creed stated: "The Forestry Scheme is voluntary for all landowners and it’s a matter for them as to whether they wish to avail of the grants and premiums available. The current Forestry Programme does not differentiate between a 'farmer' and 'non-farmer' but targets funding at all landowners who wish to convert lands to forestry. It is important to note that the non-farmer category also includes recently retired farmers and the family members of existing farmers who may also be living locally.
According to the breakdown provided of the premiums for 2018:
€1,344,308 was paid to farmers who live in Co. Leitrim
€802,762 was paid to farmers who live outside Co. Leitrim
€174,762 was paid to forest owners (non-farmers) who live in Co. Leitrim
€409,894 was paid to forest owners (non-farmers) who live outside Co. Leitrim
The total paid in premiums in 2018 was €2,731,726