Determinants of Private Afforestation in the Republic of Ireland
This paper employs a panel regression analysis using county-level data to quantify the relative importance of competing forestry and agricultural policy incentives in explaining trends in private afforestation in Ireland. It concludes that an increase in the level of up front payments to planters is the most cost efficient way of increasing planting levels. The introduction of the Irish agri-environment programme REPS has contributed to a significant decline in the level of forestry planting and offset the recent increases in the level of forestry grants and premia. Several policy reforms to encourage forestry planting in Ireland are proposed, including greater integration of forestry with the REPS scheme and increasing the value of the initial payment which farmers receive.
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