Forestry Knowledge Transfer Scheme 2020 Now Open

The Forestry Knowledge Transfer Group (KTG) Scheme is now open for 2020, in what is a conditional launch in light of current public health restrictions on group meetings.

The purpose of launching the scheme now is to allow organisers to secure participants and complete the necessary preparations to be ready to commence the meetings when public health guidelines allow.

Launching the scheme today, Tuesday, May 26, Andrew Doyle, Minister of State with responsibility for forestry, said: “Over 600 forest owners participated in the scheme last year all over the country.

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Results from 2018 and 2019 have shown that participants from these schemes have gained a lot of practical knowledge to better manage their forest and maximise the income from their holding.

The minister highlighted that the scheme will be kept under review in light of the public health guidelines.

The aim of the Forestry KTG Scheme, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, is to provide participating private forest owners with the knowledge they require to actively manage their own forest, mobilise their timber resources, and secure a valuable income from the crop in the market.

All private forest owners are eligible to participate, irrespective of whether their forest is currently being grant funded under the forestry programmes or not. Participants set their own learning agenda, led by a facilitator who is a professional forester.

The department has also published a review of the operation of the scheme in 2019, which found “very encouraging” results and showed that almost all participants are now managing their forest differently, as a direct result of experience gained from their group meetings.

The review also highlighted some improvements which could be made to the scheme this year.

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Forestry companies, consultants and producer groups are invited to organise knowledge transfer groups. Once approved, organisers can invite forest owners to participate in the groups.

“Forestry KTGs provide an ideal base for forest owners to get into contact and start co-operating to maximise scale,” Minister Doyle commented.

“I encourage all participating in the scheme to continue working together, either informally or as part of a producer group, after the scheme has ended,” he concluded.

Terms And Conditions

Each KTG can have a maximum of 20 participants, and each participant will need to attend seven meetings or outdoor events in order to complete the programme. Participants in the 2018 and 2019 schemes will not be permitted to join a KTG in 2020.

KTG payments are broken down as follows:

  • KTG participant – €70 per meeting attended (maximum payment is €490 across seven meetings/events);
  • KTG organiser – €6,500 per KTG organised.

An assessment process will apply to ensure that only applications to organise a KTG that reach a minimum standard are considered. Applications will also be ranked in the event that the scheme is over-subscribed.

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Each KTG application received will be rated according to the following criteria:

  • How client base/membership/future participants would benefit from membership of your KTG(s);
  • Capacity/experience of each KTG organiser to run the KTG programme;
  • Extent of previous knowledge transfer activities (field trips, seminars, publications, etc);
  • Promotion strategy to attract inactive forest owners to the KTG.

All applicants will be ranked according to the marks awarded. Available KTGs will be distributed 50:50 between forestry producer groups and forestry companies/forestry consultants.

(Source – Agriland – Charles O Donnell – 26/05/2020)

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