Minister of State Pippa Hackett has reminded farmers who are considering going organic that they have one more week to apply for the Organic Farming Scheme.
The closing date is midnight next Friday, April 30th.
Urging all farmers to consider taking the step, the minister said, “I believe the future is bright for organic farmers.”
“Demand is strong for all types of organic produce, prices are often higher, and crucially, it’s also a less intensive way of farming which comes with lower input costs and which embraces nature and natural processes to produce food.”
The minister has provided funding to allow the scheme to increase the number of farmers farming organically in Ireland this year by 30%.
The scheme is an agri-environment measure under the Department’s Rural Development Programme.
- Farmers entering the Organic Farming Scheme could qualify for yearly payments of up to €220 per hectare during the conversion period;
- And up to €170 per hectare when they have achieved full organic status;
- Higher payment rates are available for organic horticulture and tillage farmers.
Beef, sheep, tillage, dairy, and horticulture
Encouraging farmers to apply for the Scheme, the Minister added, “I want to reassure farmers who are considering taking this step that there is room for everyone, beef, and sheep farmers as well as tillage, dairy and horticulture enterprises.”
“I also want them to know that the EU is totally committed to supporting this way of farming. Organic farms will be fully integrated into the new CAP scheme when it eventually rolls out in 2023.”
“Applications can be made through my department’s online system and the application process itself is quite simple and straightforward. I would really appeal to those interested in applying to do so, while there is still time,” she concluded.
What to consider when converting to organics
Last week, we featured an article on what to consider when converting to organics, which you can find here.