A new forestry programme worth €1.3 billion has been announced by the Government.

The fund will see payments to farmers for planting trees rise by between 46% and 66%, and payments will continue for 20 years rather than the existing 15.

The funding will be channelled through the new forestry programme that will run from 2023 until 2030 and represents the largest investment by the State in afforestation.

A target of 8,000 hectares of forestry planting per annum is contained in the Climate Action Plan, but Ireland is currently only planting 2,000 hectares.

Minister of State with responsibility for Forestry Pippa Hackett said the funding comes at an appropriate time, given the need for climate mitigation measures.

She said planting trees is one of the most effective methods of tackling climate change and her aim is to reengage farmers with afforestation. Under the plan, a farmer planting one hectare of native forest would entitle to grants of €28,000 tax free, spread over 20 years.

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime programme, she described the investment in the scheme as "very significant".

"There is a sort of cultural shift we need I think in Ireland as well in relation to forestry. We don't have that long, sort of generational forestry impact that other countries have so we need to build that," she said.

"We've listened to the farmers and put together a package that is significantly above and beyond what we've had before," she said.

The new programme is built around the principle of the right trees in the right places for the right reasons with the right management.

It aims to deliver more diverse forest which will meet multiple societal objectives, economic, social and environmental. Higher grant rates for forest establishment are also proposed with increases of approximately 20% to reflect rising living costs.

A new one-hectare native tree area scheme will also make it easier for landowners who wish to plant small areas of trees on their farm.