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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Next CAP: Up to €600/ha to convert to organics

Organic Farming Scheme: CAP (2023-2027)

The DAFM has assigned a budget of €256m for the Organic Farming Scheme in the next CAP (2023-2027).

Currently, 90,000ha of land is under organic production, and the DAFM hopes this budgetary provision will help it reach its target of 7.5% by the end of 2027.

According to Kevin McGeever of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, there are market opportunities for the organic sector in Ireland.

During the DAFM’s recent public information meeting on its Common Agricultural Policy draft CSP, he stated that the organic market in Ireland is worth €189m, which is an increase of 16% from the previous year.

McGeever highlighted that this is the third-highest growth rate across Europe, with Ireland just behind Germany and Austria.

He said there are opportunities and benefits for organic produce and organic farming in the country.

Organics

Under its current set of proposals, the DAFM, in its draft plan, has outlined the following for the Organic Farming Scheme:

To be eligible for the scheme, you must:

  • Be an active farmer;
  • Hold an organic licence at the date of submission of the OFS application. There are two bodies in Ireland namely the Organic Trust and Irish Organic Association);
  • Declare all lands in the applicant’s name on BPS;
  • Complete 25-hour course in organic farming – Courses through Teagasc and NOTS (National Organic Training Skillnet);
  • Stocking rate requirement of 0.10 LU/ha – 1 ewe to the ha to encourage those farming marginalised land to consider converting to organics;
  • A minimum farm area of 3 hectares, except for horticultural (including fruit) producers where the minimum farm area is 1 hectare;

Other reading on That’s Farming: What to consider before you convert to organics

Organic Farming Scheme: Payment Rates that the DAFM has proposed:
  • Dairy: <Up to 70ha in conversion: €330/HA and <up to 70Ha fully organic: €250/ha;
  • Dry Stock: < Up to 70ha in conversion: €250/HA and < up to 70Ha: fully organic: €170/HA;
  • Horticulture: < 6Ha in conversion €600/ha and < 6Ha fully organic €400/ha;
  • Tillage: < 20Ha in conversion: €290/ha and > 20Ha & up to 70Ha fully organic: €190/HA.

Under the scheme, the DAFM will provide support annually. It will provide an area-based payment over a minimum contract period of 5 years (2 years in conversion followed by maintenance).

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