Senator Pippa Hackett, Minister of State for Biodiversity and Land Use, has announced the opening of the Forestry Knowledge Transfer Group (KTG) Scheme for 2022.
According to the DAFM, the scheme aims to increase the level of forest management activity among forest owners.
A professional forester leads the KTGs and encourages participants to engage with forestry groups and professionals.
They operate with a “bottom-up approach”, with the members themselves deciding what they wish to learn.
Participants can learn from the experts and from each other’s experiences within a discussion group setting.
In addition, owners can use KTGs as “a vehicle” to bring forest owners in contact with professional foresters.
Each KTG can have a maximum of 20 participants.
Each participant will need to attend seven meetings or outdoor events to complete the programme.
Participants in the 2018, 2019, 2020/2021 schemes will not be permitted to join a KTG in 2022.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has provided the following pay rates:
|Payee||Reimbursement/grant payment per||€|
|KTG participant||Meeting attended||€70 per meeting|
|KTG organiser||Per KTG organised||€6,500 per KTG|
A total of 7 meetings and events will be organised per KTG – the maximum payment to each participant is €490.
Investment in forestry
According to Minister Hackett, the scheme provides a “very useful” opportunity for forest owners to gain additional knowledge to help them manage their forests in a “sustainable” way over their lifetime.
She said as Minister for Forestry, she has “very ambitious” plans for the sector. The DAFM is currently developing a new forestry strategy and forestry programme.
“Key to implementing the forestry strategy and the forestry programme will be improving the forestry management knowledge of farmers and landowners, and the KTG Scheme will help to drive this.”
Since the scheme’s inception four years ago, the DAFM has invested more than €1.3 million in knowledge transfer for Irish forest owners.
According to the minister, the state has invested over €3 billion since 1990 in creating new forests.
She believes it is “vital” that this investment is realised through sustainable forest management.
“The mobilisation of this timber will create economic activity along the supply chain through activities such as harvesting, transportation, replanting and processing.”
“My hope is that the Forestry Knowledge Transfer Groups will address many of the knowledge gaps among farmers and landowners that act as barriers to the mobilisation of private timber,” she concluded.
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