SEEFA cautiously welcomes new package for ash dieback-affected farmers and awaits further details

2 May , 2024  

The Social, Economic Environmental Forestry Association of Ireland welcomes yesterday’s preliminary announcement from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of a €79.5 million package for landowners affected by ash dieback.

The scheme, approved by Cabinet yesterday, offers farmers a €5,000 payment for the loss of their ash crop. However, precise details concerning timelines, exact requirements, and the terms and conditions landowners face have yet to be established.

“We fully support all assistance provided to landowners and farmers on vital issues like ash dieback. We believe this package will encourage more landowners to enter the scheme and will help us toward our environmental goals, adding more active carbon sequestering forests.” – Padraig Egan, SEEFA Chairman.

After over a decade of inaction and poor policy, Irish forests have been unable to move past ash dieback. First seen in Ireland as early as 2012, ash dieback has since spread widely, wreaking havoc on the ecosystem and the economic stability of the forestry sector. The most recent progress made was the establishment of a task force in early 2024, which, to date, has not convened.

Egan continued, “We must remain cautious. We are disappointed that the task force SEEFA was invited on never met and was not consulted before this announcement. Additionally, the resources provided in the package in no way cover maintenance and may leave forest owners at a loss.”

SEEFA awaits further details and welcomes further communication from the Department, and looks forward to farmers and landowners getting much needed compensation.