IFA says forestry will grind to a halt unless licence backlog is dealt with

The IFA President Tim Cullinan has claimed the announcement by Minister Pippa Hackett that the EU has approved an extension of the forestry programme for 2021 will have no real impact unless the licensing backlog is addressed.

Cullinan says that we have a minister announcing grants to encourage forestry while at the same time the department is making it unworkable for people who want to plant.

Currently, there are nearly 5,000 licences awaiting approval.

There are reports of farmers with forestry who cannot thin or harvest their timber, and it’s understood new entrants cannot get a licence to plant.

The IFA president earlier spoke to our agriculture correspondent John Lynch: