Local farmers encouraged to grow biomass fuels

Environment Minister Denis Naughten says farmers in Longford will benefit from Bord na Mona’s new biomass business with the prospect of guaranteed prices for those who get on board.

Bord na Mona says the launch is “a critical step” away from its’ traditional peat production which will cease to be used for energy generation by 2030.

The minister described the switch to biomass material as a golden opportunity for agriculture with 15 year-long contracts being offered to farmers for their crop before they grow it.

He predicted there would be a huge demand for agricrops such as willow from the new semi-state business for its’ three power plants at Lanesborough in Co. Longford and Shannonbridge and Edenderry in Co. Offaly.

Speaking on the second day of the Ploughing Chamionships he said details of the scheme are currently being finalised before the budget with rates of payment for farmers to be announced before the end of

the year.