Irish Minister of State Pippa Hackett is reminding farmers who are interested in transitioning to organic production should submit their applications to the Organic Farming Scheme. The applications deadline is midnight on Friday 30 April.
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 Organic Farming Scheme reopened for new applications from farmers at the beginning of March and closes Friday 30 April. 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.
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, and 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. Those interested can avail of a wealth of information and guidance from my Department, Teagasc or their own farm advisor and the organic certification bodies. So I would really appeal to those interested in applying to do so, while there is still time.”