2020 advance payments have, today (Monday, November 23rd), commenced under the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS).
€5.5 million will arrive in the bank accounts of some 1,200 organic farmers.
The advance payment, which is now issuing, consists of 85% of the full payment due. The Department will pay balancing payments of 15% in 2021 in accordance with EU Rules.
Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, made the announced this morning.
“I am delighted to confirm that advance payments to some 1,200 organic farmers under our Organic Farming Scheme have now commenced, two weeks ahead of schedule and earlier than last year.”
The Organic Farming Scheme, she added, has been a huge success in terms of achieving its targets.
She said it has resulted in an increase of nearly 50% on the hectarage under organic production since the start of the scheme in 2014.
Additional scheme year
“I was pleased also to be able to guarantee another year in the scheme for current participants thanks to the significant increase in my Department’s organics budget for 2021.”
This extension is currently with the European Commission for approval. Scheme participants will be hearing from the department in early December on how to confirm their participation for another year, Hackett added.
“I’m very ambitious for the Irish organic sector and intend to drive implementation of the current National Organics Strategy.”
400-500 more farmers to go organic
An additional €4 million provided in the budget allows for the re-opening of a new OFS in 2021 to new entrants. This will support 400 to 500 more farmers to go organic.”
The demand from consumers, and indeed farmers, toward organic production is growing at home and abroad.”
“Organic farming also supports more nature-friendly farming practices and reduced emissions. This will also help us to meet climate and biodiversity targets.”
“I expect to be making further announcements on the re-opening of the scheme in the near future.”
Regular pay runs will be in place over the coming weeks to issue payments as more OFS cases are cleared for payment.