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Doyle announces commencement of Organic Farming Scheme balancing payments

Minister of State for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D., today announced the commencement of the balancing payments on the Organic Farming Scheme for farmers. This scheme is the main support scheme for new and existing organic farmers under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. The balancing payment represents the final 15% of the 2018 payment and is being paid earlier than last year.

The Minister stated “I am very pleased to announce that balancing payments of nearly €1 million under this scheme have commenced to 1,200 organic farmers. The remaining payments will continue to issue over the coming weeks”. This scheme has resulted in a doubling of land farmed organically in Ireland and has been a huge success under our RDP.

Currently there are 1,588 organic farmers in the Organic Farming Scheme managing c. 72,000 hectares of land. The scheme has resulted in a doubling of land in Ireland being farmed as organic.  Annual payments under the Organic Farming Scheme come to over €10 million.

Minister Doyle added “The Organic Farming Scheme is a key support measure that assists farmers in their conversion to organic farming and allows them to avail of the growing market opportunities that clearly exist for organic food. Together with the high-level strategy for the sector which we published earlier their year, the Irish organic sector is enjoying record levels of investment from this Government and is well positioned to grow further in the coming years.

Note for Editor

The Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) is an agri-environmental Scheme designed to deliver enhanced environmental and animal welfare benefits and to provide compensation to farmers who farm their holding to organic farming standards for a period of five years. The overall objective is to deliver the environmental and animal welfare benefits, while encouraging producers to respond to the market demand for organically produced food.

The OFS is a major scheme under Ireland’s Rural Development Programme. Some 1,588 farmers receive a payment under this scheme to support their organic enterprise.   Annual payments under the Organic Farming Scheme come to over €10m. 

The Organic section can be contacted on 0761 064415 or by email to organic@agriculture.gov.ie .

 Doyle announces commencement of Organic Farming Scheme balancing payments

ENDS

Date Released: 31 May 2019